Concealed carry changes discussed in Ohio

Concealed carry in Ohio is back in discussion both as a potential constitutional carry bill moves through the state legislature and following a lawsuit settlement with The Ohio State University last month.

House Bill 174 was introduced to the legislature as a revision of state weapons laws by renaming a concealed handgun license as a concealed weapons license and allowing a person age 21 or older–that is not prohibited from firearm possession –to conceal carry without obtaining a permit.

“It’s an expansion on the state law that also returns to founding principals,” said Marietta Police Chief Rodney Hupp on Wednesday.

Hupp said he is in support of the proposed changes, with the understanding that responsible gun ownership and training is a key to safe communities.

“You are no more a gunman because you own a gun than you are a violinist just because you own a violin,” he said.

That call for responsibility is also the basis for Marietta College’s policy on weaponry on campus, said College Police Chief Jim Weaver.

“Our policy is no firearms on campus, period, for everyone,” he said.

The college’s policy differs from one being followed at The Ohio State University, which prompted a lawsuit. The difference is that there are no qualifications on the Marietta College policy for disciplinary action if an individual with a concealed carry license keeps their weapon locked in their vehicle on campus.

The state university settled a lawsuit last month with two gun-rights groups and a student and instructor. The university revised its student code of conduct so that licensed students could store their firearms in locked cars parked on campus.

“We just ask that you bring it to the police department here, we have a check-in and check-out process and keep those in our locked safe here,” said Weaver. “We have students that go out to Henderson Wilds (in Boaz) to shoot, and we have some competitive shooters and some that hunt and they’ve been good about following our policy.”

Weaver said on average the college department stores between 12 and 24 weapons at any given time.

“The majority are hunting rifles and shotguns,” he explained. “But we even have bows stored in there. The way we read our policy is all weapons are covered.”

At Washington State Community College, which is predominantly a commuter campus though some of its students are housed at Marietta College, the policy is similar. Officials of WSCC did not return multiple calls for comment.

Areas where concealed weapons are already not allowed, like educational institutions and government buildings, would not be affected by the changes proposed in House Bill 124, according to Hupp.

“Being mindful of your responsibilities whether you’re carrying a firearm or an impact weapon then falls on the carrier,” he said. “The only issue I see is if people do not realize that other states don’t always have the same constitutional carry laws, and if you want to carry there you may still need a license.”

Reciprocity is considered in the proposed bill, he noted, but the distinction should be considered by those who travel to different states with their weapons.

Concealed Carry Ohio

Ohio concealed carry permit holders currently have reciprocity to carry weaponry concealed in most states across the country, except:

• California.

• Oregon.

• Hawaii.

• Minnesota.

• Illinois.

• New York.

• Rhode Island.

• Massachusetts.

• Connecticut.

• New Jersey.

• Maryland.

• Maine.

• Washington D.C.

States that have restricted reciprocity with Ohio include:

• Colorado (resident permits only).

• Florida (resident permits only).

• Michigan (resident permits only).

• Pennsylvania (resident permits only).

• South Carolina (resident permits only).

• Texas (issued/renewed on or after 3/23/15).

• Wisconsin (issued/renewed on or after 3/23/2015).

Permitless carry states include:

• Alaska (if at least 21 years old).

• Arizona (if at least 21 years old).

• Arkansas (if at least 21 years old).

• Kansas (if at least 21 years old).

• Maine (if at least 21 years old).

• Mississippi (if at least 21 years old).

• Missouri (if at least 19 years old).

• New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old).

• Vermont (if at least 18 years old).

• West Virginia (if at least 21 years old).

Source: U.S. Concealed Carry Association.