COLUMBUS – State lawmakers have approved legislation that will improve protections of Ohioans’ 2nd Amendment rights.
The measure, House Bill 325, makes clear government officials can’t use an emergency declaration to close firearms dealers or restrict the lawful ownership of firearms.
The bill’s sponsor, State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) said the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the broad powers government has to declare an emergency and restrict citizens’ rights.
“Fortunately in Ohio, these powers were not used to infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights. But in other states, they were,” Wiggam said.
Michigan’s governor, he said, issued an executive order closing firearm and ammunition retailers, declaring them non-essential businesses.
“This legislation ensures that these powers are never used in Ohio to undermine the 2nd Amendment rights of Ohioans,” Wiggam said.
Wiggam’s bill makes clear that firearms businesses are essential, prohibiting the use of emergency declarations to shut them down. The bill also makes clear government officials cannot use an emergency declaration to prohibit, confiscate or require the registration of firearms and ammunition.
Supporters of the bill include the Buckeye Firearms Association, National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation
The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.