Thursday, September 25, 2003

Debate over concealed-carry likely will continue to rage

The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the state's ban on concealed weapons is constitutional. But the debate over concealed carry has been going on for years, and will likely continue despite Wednesday's ruling. Some questions and answers about the law, the debate and the court's decision Wednesday:

What does the Ohio Supreme Court decision mean?

Ohioans may not carry concealed weapons. The only exception is a clause that allows people to carry hidden guns for self-defense. But to prove the need to carry, people must first get arrested and taken to court, where they then can argue their case.

What happens next?

The plaintiffs who challenged the law may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Otherwise, the case is over.

Can the law be changed?

Yes. The ruling Wednesday affirmed the right of the state legislature to regulate how and where firearms are carried.

Why hasn't the legislature acted sooner to change the law?

Lawmakers have been unable to agree on a new law. Rural and suburban lawmakers generally support a less restrictive law, while those from high-crime urban areas oppose concealed guns.

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