By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)-
H.B. 234 is an 18 page reform of Ohio’s firearms laws, though most of the 18 pages are existing law. The reforms are simple commonsense reforms of provisions of state law that were unduly restrictive and made no sense. This was reflected by the large vote margins for passage of the bill; 24-6 in the Senate, 69-16 in the House.
The bill now goes to Governor Kasich, who has not indicated if he will sign it or not. Disarmists are already lobbying the Governor in an attempt to have him veto the bill. Governor Kasich has 10 days from receipt of the bill to either veto or sign it. If he takes no action, the bill becomes law without his signature. In general, laws go into effect in Ohio 90 days after final action by the Governor.
Some of the major provisions of the bill are:
- Creates reciprocity to recognize concealed handgun permits from other states, much as drivers licenses are recognized.
- Eliminates a provision in the law that equated semi-automatics firearms that could accept magazines with a capacity of more than 30 rounds as automatic weapons.
- States that the Ohio CHL will meet the requirements of the national instant check system. This should allow CHL holders to purchase firearms by presenting their CHL to firearms dealers.
- Allows for training certification by any “national gun advocacy organization” instead of the National Rifle Association specifically.
- Allows for partial training online, but requires two hours of in person range time for CHL permit training.
- Extends Ohio CHL permit expiration to the date of expiration on the permit, instead of upon change of residency.
- Provides that entry into parking lots with a CHL shall not be considered criminal trespass.
- Allows people in the Military, Peace Corps, and Service to America six months grace to renew an Ohio concealed handgun license.
- Creates as “Shall Sign” provision for chief law enforcement officers who process National Firearms Act (NFA) forms.
- Allows people with legal gun mufflers to use them for hunting game.
These common sense reforms have been sought in Ohio for many years.
Lost in the legislative shuffle was a reform to bring Ohio in step with the other 49 states on self defense law. Ohio is the only state that places the burden of proof on a person who claims self defense. In the other 49 states, it is the burden of the state to prove that the person *was not* acting in self defense, once the self defense claim is made. In Ohio, the accused is required to prove that they *did* act in self defense. Many believe that this is a violation of the “innocent until proven guilty” principle of American law.
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.