Amid a growing concern for personal safety, many Americans are exercising their right to carry firearms. As the Trump administration prepares to take over, armed citizens are calling for broadening existing concealed carry law to allow carry across all 50 states. And now it seems like Ohio has taken this preparedness push to the next level.
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Ohio lawmakers approved a bill Friday broadening concealed carry regulations. Now those who can legally carry concealed handguns may carry them on college campuses, in private airplanes, and even in day cares.
Private businesses (both day care centers and the adult day care centers, which masquerade as colleges) may still opt to enact their own bans.
In what to many seems boldly hypocritical, the lawmakers kept the ban on concealed carry in government buildings–the very buildings occupied by the officials who passed the legislation. So there’s still some work to be done for those who want to remove all restrictions on where they can and can’t carry.
The bill now goes to Gov. John Kasich for final approval.
Support for the legislation was hardly universal. The Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association both voiced concerns about allowing law abiding citizens to exercise their inalienable rights. Their main argument is that these new armed individuals would pose a threat to students.
Is there any evidence to support this claim? 23 states now allow campus carry. Though gun violence still exists across the country, none of these crimes are being committed by law-abiding citizens who have gone to the trouble to secure for themselves a concealed carry permit.
Passage of Ohio’s bill comes on the heels of a violent attack on the campus of Ohio State University. That attack, which began with a student ramming people with his car and then trying to stab them with a knife, was ended less than a minute after it began when the attacker was shot dead by a campus police officer who happened to be close when the incident began.
Ironically, the very lawmakers who oppose campus carry specifically (and gun rights in general) tried to turn the OSU attack into a “gun violence” issue.
Those who support the courage of Ohio’s lawmakers celebrate their willingness to allow individuals more control of their right to self defense.