New state gun law

By Frank Lewis -

As of Tuesday (March 21), you will be allowed to carry a concealed gun into a day care center, thanks to Ohio Senate Bill 199, sponsored by Scioto County’s State Senator, Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township).

The bill begins by specifying that a member of the military on active duty is not required to get a Concealed Carry license, having undergone training. All others must have a Concealed Handgun License in order to carry a gun. Then the law goes on to “prohibit a business entity from having a policy that prohibits a concealed handgun licensee from transporting or storing a firearm in the person’s motor vehicle; to modify the prohibition against carrying a concealed handgun onto institutions of higher education, day-care facilities, aircraft, certain government facilities, public areas of airport terminals, and school safety zones; to allow a sheriff to use concealed handgun license fee revenue to purchase ammunition and firearms; and to authorize certain children’s crisis care facilities to maintain firearms.” In the case of a day care center, that facility is permitted to post a “no guns on our premises” sign, and that will ban the presence of a gun on that property.

The Daily Times inquired of Judy Hedrick of Giggles and Wiggles Day Care in Wheelersburg as to her response to the law and received a reply.

I spoke with my staff yesterday and they did not have any problem with parents having concealed guns on them, as long as they kept them concealed,” Hedrick said. “They felt that you can go shopping at Walmart and Krogers and people would be carrying.”

Hedrick went on to explain the company’s position.

“Also we have quite a few parents that are police officers and they have their weapons on them each day,” Hedrick said.

“So as for Giggles and Wiggles, we do not have a problem with SB199, however we are discussing whether to post a sign stating no guns on our premises.”

Hedrick said she would be conducting a survey of parents before making a final decision.

David Thoroughman, director of security at Shawnee State University, told the Times there is currently no plan for the board of trustees at the university to consider changing its current policy.

“We will not be changing any procedures here at the university to allow any exceptions to the Concealed Carry,” Thoroughman said.

Thoroughman said the do not permit guns – “within the buildings. If you have a CCW it has to be locked in a compartment like your trunk or whatever in the vehicle.”

Thoroughman said any consideration to change the policy would have to go before the board – “and at the present, there’s no direction of doing that.”

Thoroughtman went on to complete his statement by saying – “Shawnee just follows what the law indicates. To allow that, the board would have to adopt a policy to allow and there’s no effort in that direction right now to change that.”

The Times contacted Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association for comment.

“Buckeye Firearms Association is pleased that Senate Bill 199 takes effect today (Tuesday, March 21). It makes a variety of improvements to Ohio law that allows Ohio gun owners with a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) to more fully exercise their rights,” Rieck said. “Beginning today (Tuesday, March 21) business entities, property owners, and public or private employers can no longer ban a person who has been issued a valid CHL from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition when the items are locked in a person’s privately-owned motor vehicle on company property.”

Rieck said it is important because, previously, if a business bans guns at work, including parking lots, employees are essentially banned from having their firearm all day, and are defenseless from the time they leave home in the morning until they return home in the evening.

“In addition, the new law allows CHL-holders to keep their handgun locked in a motor vehicle on school premises; allows colleges and government bodies to decide for themselves if concealed-carry should be allowed; allows CHL-holders to carry on private aircraft, in the non-secure area of airports and in day-care centers, unless the day care posts a “no-guns” sign, allows active military members who have the same or greater training than CHL holders to carry a concealed firearm; and allows the sale of firearms to active duty military members without regard to their age.”

Rieck said for well over a decade, Ohioans with a Concealed Handgun License have proven themselves to be overwhelmingly law-abiding and trustworthy. And SB 199 makes welcome improvements that citizens deserve.

Rieck said gun owners owe a debt of gratitude to Uecker and the sponsor of HB 48, Ron Maag (R-Lebanon).

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.