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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signs bill legalizing permit-less concealed carry

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Photo by Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images

Ohio citizens will soon be able to carry concealed firearms without a permit.

Cleveland.com reported that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday signed legislation backed by the Republican-majority Ohio Legislature that allows people in the state to carry concealed handguns without permits or prior training.

Oho residents will no longer be required to inform law enforcement if they are armed during traffic stops.

The newly signed Senate Bill 215 will go into effect 90 days after being signed into law and will allow people 21 or older to carry a concealed firearm unless they are prohibited from doing so by state or federal law.

With the passing of this law, Ohio became the 23rd state in the country to allow permit-less concealed carry.

Until the law goes into effect, Ohio residents are still required to take eight hours of training — and pass a federal background check — to receive a concealed carry permit.

That said, Ohio residents may still opt to pursue a concealed carry permit for a few reasons. States without permit-less carry might still allow out-of-state visitors to carry concealed weapons as long as they have a permit. And since a federal background check is required to obtain a concealed carry permit, having a permit can expedite the gun-buying process by enabling purchasers to circumvent the redundant federal background check process.

Currently, if motorists are stopped by a law enforcement official, Ohio law compels them to disclose if they have a firearm on their persons or in their vehicles. If Ohio motorists fail to truthfully disclose that they are in possession of a firearm, they could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and the suspension of their concealed carry permit.

Supporters of the legislation note that both the U.S. and Ohio constitutions guarantee the right to bear arms and that neither document mentions anything about training requirements. They also argue that permit-less carry will make Ohio residents safer by eliminating the time-consuming and cost-prohibitive requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit.

While running for governor in 2018, then-candidate DeWine suggested that he would be supportive of a law enshrining permit-less concealed carry. However, after the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that left nine Ohioans dead, Gov. DeWine flirted with the possibility of pushing gun control policies like a “red-flag” law.

When contemplating signing Senate Bill 215 into law, DeWine said, “The job of the governor is to make tough decisions. And I have a decision to make.”

Conservative groups celebrated the bill’s passage, while the Ohio Democratic Party accused DeWine of selling out to “extremists and special interests at the expense of Ohio families and law enforcement officers.”

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