The Ohio Senate passed substitute H.B. 234 by a vote of 8-2. The bill now heads back to the House for a concurrence vote and on to the Governor.
As passed by the Senate, Substitute H.B. 234 makes a significant number of changes, such as allowing the use of suppressors while hunting, aligning concealed carry with laws for firearm possession, allowing active military to carry handguns, correcting the definition for automatic firearms, and much more.
Here are the details:
Hunters will be able to use suppressors while hunting. There was strong support for this from NRA, Buckeye Firearms Association, American Silencer Association, and sportsmen who will benefit from the reduced noise.
Coinciding with the suppressor language, those who want to buy a $200 tax stamp and get a suppressor will be able to have a sheriff conduct a background check as though one were applying for a Concealed Handgun License (CHL). If a person passes the background check, the sheriff will sign the Federally required paperwork. The purchaser will then send this paperwork to the BATFE to begin the Federal process.
The disqualifications for obtaining a CHL will be generally aligned with State and Federal law for possessing a gun. Currently there are those who are prohibited from possessing firearms who can still qualify for an Ohio CHL. However those with very minor records and can own a firearm may still not qualify for a CHL. This bill would make Ohio law more similar to standard practice throughout the country.
Ohio’s background checks will be strengthened. Better background checks enable sheriffs to know they are granting CHL’s to people who qualify for one. This change will help Ohio get reciprocity with Texas and possibly other states who refuse to sign agreements with Ohio because of the holes in our current background checks.
The application for a CHL will be deleted from Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and will be maintained by the Attorney General. This allows the A.G. to make needed changes in a timely manner instead of waiting for the legislative process. Removing words from code without changing the law is good policy.
Sheriffs will be permitted to use CHL funds for training. Many sheriffs conduct firearms training classes. These include CHL, hunter education, and Eddie Eagle classes.
The definition of an automatic firearms will be corrected to match what the Federal government and every other state define as an automatic firearm: a firearm that fires more than one round per pull of the trigger.
People who live outside Ohio but work in Ohio will be able to apply for an Ohio CHL in the county where they work or any adjacent county. OPOTC training will satisfy the training requirement and DD-214’s will now be accepted for 10 years vs. the current 6 years after issuance.
Currently, it is not a violation of Revised Code section 2911.21 (trespassing) to have a firearm in a “no guns” posted parking lot under state law. This bill clarifies that having a firearm in a posted parking will not trespass under any criminal law, not just 2911.21.
There are multiple sections of ORC that deal with restoration of rights. The problem is that some sections don’t recognize other sections. Persons have rights “restored” and then find out that this restoration of rights does not “count” for other sections of law. This conflict and confusion will be corrected.
Ohio citizens will be permitted to buy a long gun in any state. Currently Ohio citizens may only buy long guns from five contiguous states. That limitation dates back to the 1970’s before the NICS background check system. The bill would recognize that background checks are much improved. (Purchases of handguns are still limited to state of residence by Federal law.)
An Ohio license will not be revoked/suspended if a license holder moves out of state. It will remain valid until the state date of expiration. This is important because it allows time to apply for a license in the new state of residence.
We thank Chairman Coley, President Faber, Senator Obhof, Senator Uecker, and all who voted for Sub Bill H.B. 234. Their leadership in passing vital reform will set good policy for the State of Ohio.
We also thank the bill’s sponsors Representative’s Cheryl Grossman and John Becker, and Terry Johnson and Anne Gonzales for work on their respective bills which were combined into the sub bill.
Buckeye Firearms Association is dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation.
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