Ohio passes modifications to their firearms laws

Ohio has passed some modifications to their firearms laws that contain an interesting provision:

By a 59 – 28 margin, the Ohio House has passed House Bill 495, sponsored by Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), which will reform Ohio concealed carry law to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and continue a trend toward making Ohio law similar to other states.

HB495 makes three changes to current law:

  • Changes to automatically honor other states licenses, similar to a driver’s license
  • Eliminates the “demonstrated competency” requirement for 2nd and future CHL renewals, making CHL training similar to a hunting license
  • Fixes the definition of a “loaded gun” to match the commonly accepted definition

The last 2 of those items are interesting in a local capacity but it’s the 1st one that I find intriguing. Unless I’ve missed one, literally every state requires a background check for any person applying for a concealed weapon permit. That background check involves running the person’s identifying documentation through federal databases such as NICS. Why, when that’s the procedure used to validate a state resident for eligibility to receive a concealed weapon permit, would you not accept another state’s permit? There’s no rationale for refusing to honor it, particularly when verifying the authenticity of the permit is a simple phone call or database lookup away.

This is the driving force behind the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 which passed the House by a wide margin and significant support on both sides of the aisle. Ohio’s legislature has it right: there’s no reason to wait on Congress. Each state can decide on their own to recognize the other states’ permits. I’d even say it would be quite acceptable to write into state law that there’s automatic reciprocity with an state that offers the same. In short, any state that recognizes Virginia’s CWP would have theirs, in turn, recognized by us automatically and without need for a change to state law or formal, written agreement. I like the idea of a uniform law of the land with regard to this, and specifically in accordance with the 2nd Amendment but there’s no reason the states can’t start today.

Good work, Ohio!