Ohio is now among about half of the states in the country that allow concealed carry of a firearm without a permit, as long as you meet the requirements.
Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law this spring. The new law came into force on Monday.
The Enquirer has reported on how the previous laws were applied, how many people were affected, and the racial disparities in the cases.
People who want to carry a concealed firearm must be 21 years old and not have a felony on their record. Basically, those who were previously able to get a permit can now carry a gun without one.
People must also obey many of the same rules that permit holders must follow. If you carry a weapon, you cannot drink alcohol and there are places where it is prohibited to carry.
The duty to report immediately to a police officer that you carry has changed. A police officer can ask, but a citizen is no longer required to immediately provide the information.
Attorney General David Yost urges firearms training
Ohio Attorney General David Yost issued a statement Monday saying that despite the law change, education was still important.
“Just because you’re not legally required to get training doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea,” Yost said. “Using a firearm is not instinct, and watching television is not training. Ohioans should learn to handle their firearms from a qualified instructor. A trained citizen is a safe citizen.”
Yost’s office has released a new online manual that covers some of the basics of the law related to carrying a gun and self-defense.
Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey says this law makes it harder for deputies
Locally, Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey has opposed the law. On Monday, she said she will be closely watching what happens next. Along with other groups like Moms Demand Action, she plans to collect data to make a case to strike down the law at some point.
“It makes us less able to keep the public safe,” McGuffey said.
She said the law makes it much more difficult for officers to interact with people they see carrying weapons. Without a duty to report and the ability to ask to see someone’s license, officers could be faced with people who simply walk away from them, she explained.
McGuffey said that since taking office he has revoked a number of concealed carry licenses due to domestic violence and felony convictions. He said that provided a count of who was carrying weapons, a count that will now have to be done in other ways.
“We’re going to be, as a sheriff’s department, more vigilant,” McGuffey said. “I’m paying attention and so are other people.”