Friday, March 22, 2002

Ohio House passes concealed weapons bill

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A bill the House passed on Thursday that would let Ohioans get permits to carry hidden guns is opposed by some gun-rights advocates as too restrictive.

        The bill passed 66-27, the exact number of “yes” votes the 99-member House would need to override the veto that Gov. Bob Taft has threatened.

        The bill now goes to the Senate, where its future is unclear, but Senate President Richard Finan has promised hearings. Both the House and Senate are in recess until late April. The Senate passed a similar bill in 1995 that died in the House.

        Jim Ramm, a former Reynoldsburg police officer, said any bill that requires permits to carry concealed weapons violates the Second Amendment guarantees to the right to bear arms.

        “All that we are asking for is a system where a law-abiding citizen can carry a gun without being hassled,” said Mr. Ramm, a member of the Ohio Constitution Defense Council, a gun-rights group.

        Mr. Ramm supported a less restrictive concealed weapons bill that was introduced early last year but died for lack of support.

        The approved proposal would require applicants to submit to a criminal background check and complete training that includes classroom study and firing range experience. Those who receive permits could carry concealed weapons except in bars — with an allowance for undercover police officers — schools, universities, airport terminals, prisons and some other locations.

        Republican Rep. Tom Brinkman of Cincinnati, who introduced the no-permit bill, unsuccessfully tried to amend the current bill to reflect his idea.


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