COLUMBUS—Ohio House Democrats today condemned the Ohio House passage of House Bill (HB) 227, GOP-backed legislation that would gut public safety laws that currently require permits for people who carry hidden, loaded handguns in public.
HB 227 would allow anyone aged 21 or older to carry a concealed weapon without a license, without having to meet current concealed carry training requirements and without having to promptly inform police of concealed weapons during a traffic stop. Additionally, HB 227 eliminates penalties altogether for failing to notify law enforcement if you are carrying a weapon.
“This bill does not make safer communities or a stronger state,” said Rep. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park), co-founder of the Ohio Gun Violence Prevention Caucus. “As a concealed carry permit holder myself, HB 227 does not promote responsible gun ownership, and only increases the likelihood that guns will make their way into dangerous hands. The vast majority of Ohioans, across the political spectrum, want to see more commonsense gun safety measures, but House Republicans continue to support extreme gun legislation that will put more everyday Ohioans and law enforcement in danger.”
Democrats offered several commonsense safety amendments to the bill, including:
Requiring universal background checks on all gun purchases;
Implementing extreme risk protection orders;
Requiring firearms dealers to provide information about gun laws with all firearms purchases.
These amendments were rejected by Republicans.
Gun violence rates in Ohio surged in 2020, with 25 mass shootings recorded, up from 14 the year before. Some two-thirds of Ohioans say they are worried about the threat of gun violence in their community, at their church or in their child’s school.
In April 2021, Democrats unveiled a package of commonsense gun safety measures they say will work to curb gun violence and save lives in Ohio, including safe storage, red-flag and background check laws. Republicans have blocked each measure from passing out of committee.
Republicans also passed HB 99 during House session today, which would allow teachers and staff to be armed in schools without adequate training or safe storage requirements.
After passing the House, HB 227 moves to the Senate for further consideration.