PDT Staff Writer
The National Rifle Association is announcing that this week the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 495, introduced on March 27 by state Representative Terry Johnson (R-89), by a 59 to 28 vote. The pro-gun reform legislation now goes to the state Senate for its consideration, where it has been assigned to the Senate Rules and Reference Committee.
The NRA said Johnson introduced the legislation to address what he sees as several problems with current Ohio gun laws. Specifically, HB 495 would make the following changes:
Establish automatic reciprocity between Ohio and other states that have automatic reciprocity for their concealed handgun licenses. Currently, the Attorney General must enter into a written agreement with another state to establish reciprocity. HB 495 would still allow for written agreements between the states if the other state does not have automatic reciprocity, but it eliminates the requirement for a written agreement if reciprocity can occur automatically by operation of law.
Eliminate the renewal competency certification requirement for concealed carry licenses. Currently, after the first renewal of a concealed handgun license, applicants must submit proof of renewed certification to show that range competency for all subsequent renewals. HB 495 would make it so that applicants can simply show an existing or expiring license or one’s original competency certificate as proof of the necessary training for all renewals.
Change the definition of a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Currently, a firearm is considered loaded if a loaded magazine is present in the vehicle, even if the magazine is not inserted into the firearm. HB 495 would change this definition so that the magazine must be inserted into the firearm in order for it to be considered loaded.
Define “Concealed Handgun License” in one section of the revised code and clarify that this definition applies to all references to a concealed handgun license in the revised code. HB 495 would simplify the state code and make it easier to read, understand, comply with and enforce.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com