COLUMBUS—State Rep. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, has introduced House Bill 495, which would modify Ohio’s concealed handgun laws. The bill would expand reciprocity agreements to allow Ohio’s concealed carry holders to carry in states like Georgia, the last remaining state between Ohio and Florida in which Ohioans cannot carry a concealed weapon.
“I am deeply honored to sponsor this particular bill,” said Johnson. “It is much needed, it is highly substantive, and it goes far to simplify something that has been needlessly complicated. I will miss no opportunity to unburden Ohioans as they strive to exercise their basic constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
The bill allows for automatic reciprocity agreements between Ohio and other states that issue a concealed handgun license. Ohio would recognize each state’s concealed handgun license in the same way that each state recognizes other states’ driver’s licenses. The bill would still allow for the Attorney General to set up a reciprocity agreement with another state in case the other state does not have automatic reciprocity.
The bill would also change the definition of a loaded weapon. Under current Ohio law, if a clip is loaded but not inserted in the gun, the gun is still considered to be a loaded weapon. In order to be considered unloaded, the clip must be empty. House Bill 495 would make it so that a weapon is not considered to be loaded until the clip is inserted into the gun.
The final change House Bill 495 provides for is to eliminate the demonstrated competency requirement. Currently, after the first renewal, license holders must “demonstrate competency” before they can apply for their third license. HB 495 would make it so that each renewal works like the first so that applicants for renewal would only have to show proof of training in order to renew their license.