COLUMBUS—State Representatives Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) have introduced legislation to protect the right of off-duty peace officers to carry a concealed weapon.
The “Off-Duty Peace Officers Right to Carry Act” would allow off-duty officers to carry in places that are traditionally gun-free zones. The measure, House Bill 253, would enhance public safety and allow peace officers to be equipped to rapidly respond to emergencies.
“We trust our law enforcement officers to protect us every single day while they are on duty,” said Householder. “It doesn’t make sense to me why we should forfeit that trust when they aren’t wearing a uniform.”
Householder and Lanese are joint sponsors of the legislation.
The bill would specifically allow off-duty officers to carry a firearm in the following locations: courthouses, school safety zones, sports arenas, colleges and universities, churches and government buildings.
"The goal of this bill is to provide an all-hands-on-deck approach to public safety at high risk venues with well-trained officers. These off-duty officers add an extra level of security in our increasingly less secure world," Lanese said.
Law enforcement officers are highly trained to handle a gun and should be able to protect themselves, their loved ones, and friends regardless of the time of day.
The bill includes a provision prohibiting an arms-carrying, off-duty officer from consuming alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, the bill would not allow off-duty officers to carry in an area prohibited under federal law.
“Peace officers are trained professionals who should be able to carry when they go to church or when they go to see their kid’s baseball game,” Householder said.