Ohio GOP lawmakers introduce bill to allow concealed handguns without permit

Republicans in Ohio introduced a bill this week that would allow law-abiding residents 21 or older to carry concealed firearms without a permit, The Associated Press reported Friday.

The bill, which is supported by Gov. Mike DeWine (R), is known as a “constitutional carry” measure.

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Current Ohio law required prospective concealed carry holders to pass a background check, receive eight hours of training and get a permit first.

Openly carried firearms are already allowed without permits.

The bill proposed in the Ohio House would also repeal a measure that requires people carrying concealed weapons to notify police of their firearm if they’re ever stopped by officers, AP noted.

Additionally, the bill would expunge any prior convictions for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Ohio state Rep. Tom Brinkman (R), who introduced the legislation, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the bill is about getting “constitutional rights back.”

"The law-abiding citizens are under attack every day,” the lawmaker said. 

The National Rifle Association has endorsed constitutional carry laws in the past. Critics include the Fraternal Order of Police and anti-gun violence groups.

Similar measures were passed in South Dakota and Kentucky this year, with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) signing the legislation into law earlier this month.