SHARONVILLE, Ohio — Ohio lawmakers took a step toward changing gun laws in the state this week.
A gun is considered concealed in Ohio if it is not visible on a person’s body or is in a vehicle.
Currently, you need two hours of range time and six hours of classes at $99 before you can apply for your permit. Then, your county sheriff’s office must approve your application after background checks. That can cost at least $67.
“That can be a real burden,” said Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Dean Rieck. “The moment you have licensing, the moment you have fees, fewer people are able to exercise their rights.”
Concealed carry holders were divided Friday.
David Lanner told WCPO 9News, “No. That’s the cost of doing it.”
Republican Tom Brinkman Jr., from Mt. Lookout in Cincinnati, sponsored the bill. More than 100 people testified on it in front of the committee this year. Fewer than 10 of them supported it.
Moms Demand Action was among the opponents' speakers. Michele Mueller is a Cincinnati member.
“We deserve lawmakers who will prioritize common-sense safety gun laws that will again protect us from gun violence,” said Mueller.
“We don’t think it will have any effect on that. This is about people’s rights, and this is about removing burdens that people have right now for getting a license,” said Rieck.
According to a 2020 Ohio Attorney General’s Office report, 1,777 people wanted concealed carry permits, but their sheriff’s office denied their applications.
Across the country, 21 states allow concealed carry without a permit. Kentucky is one of them. Indiana still requires a license, like Ohio.
“It can be very costly, and for some people,” said Rieck, “they might even have to take off work.”
Permit holders on the range in Sharonville pushed the safety card hard.
“The concealed carry permit is so good just from an educational standpoint. I believe that’s a good vehicle to get that education, but there are plenty of other ways. I was in an NRA .22 long rifle club when I was in high school through the Boy Scouts,” said Lanner.