Constitutional Carry Bill Signed by Ohio Governor

Ohio GOP Governor Mike DeWine approved a measure allowing people of the state to carry a firearm without a permit. With his signing, Ohio became the 23rd state to legalize constitutional carry.

Those over 21 who can own a gun may carry one concealed. It also removes the necessity for civilians to notify police officers that they are armed. After 90 days, the statute goes into effect.

Freedom to Bear Arms

According to proponents, the bill better protects the Second Amendment right to bear guns.

The bill’s co-sponsor, State Senator Niraj Antani, claimed the law does not require a license or permit to exercise constitutional rights. “The Second Amendment guarantees the freedom to bear arms.”

The new law arrives as the state capital, Columbus, hit a new homicide record in 2021: 204 murders, or one every 1.8 days. In 2020, the city’s homicide rate had grown by 67%, surpassing Chicago.

As a result, Ohioans acquired 202,920 concealed carry permits last year, up 20% from 2020. The state already authorizes open carry.

According to the Buckeye Firearms Association, “a person who lives, works, or travels through a violent neighborhood should not have to fill out paperwork, go through a background check, take a course, and then wait for the government to enjoy a right provided by the state of Ohio.”

Charmaine McGuffey, who is the Sheriff of Hamilton County opposed the bill, claiming it would increase gun violence.

A 2013 survey found permitting individuals to have access to concealed guns would “have the greatest impact” on averting large-scale public shootings. 

Gun owners congratulated the governor for enacting the law.

In his campaign, Governor DeWine promised the Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohio’s four million firearm owners he would approve a constitutional carry measure.

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, agreed.

In a statement, the NRA congratulated Gov. DeWine for signing the bill, as well as the bill’s author Senator Terry Johnson (R-14), House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Shane Wilkin, and all other legislators who delivered it to Gov. DeWine. 

Gun Control Measures

DeWine, who faces re-election this year, did not push the bill.

He announced several gun control measures after a horrific massacre in Dayton in 2019. Red flag rules empower judges to take firearms from anyone deemed a danger to themselves or others; background checks are required for practically all gun sales.

“If we, after a catastrophe, merely confine ourselves to doing things that would prevent this disaster, we are missing the opportunity,” he remarked.

When asked last Friday if he would sign the state’s constitutional carry bill, DeWine answered, “The role of the governor is to make tough judgments. I have to make them. That’s about it.”

The Republican-controlled Georgia House of Representatives passed a constitutional carry bill, 94-57.

In a statement, Governor Brian Kemp (R) indicated he would sign the bill after lawmakers conclude the reconciliation process. “I will work with the Georgia House and Senate to pass Constitutional Carry!” Kemp remarked.

This is good news all around, as citizens no longer have to go through rigorous procedures to enjoy their constitutional rights.