Proposed legislation would expand concealed weapons in Ohio

COLUMBUS (AP) — Concealed weapons would be permitted in places such as colleges and day cares and on private aircraft, under legislation approved by an Ohio House committee Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ron Maag, a Republican from Lebanon, still permits those places to ban guns if they want. An updated version of the bill removed houses of worships from the list of places where the weapons would be allowed.

The bill only applies to people allowed to carry concealed weapons under law, Maag said in testimony earlier this year.

“It is meant to facilitate lawful gun ownership so that citizens are able to protect themselves and their family from crime,” Maag said.

The bill keeps a ban on concealed weapons in government buildings unless an agency decides to allow them. The House State Government Committee passed the measure 8-2.

The Ohio Association of Police Chiefs and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association oppose the proposal. It’s supported by the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association.

The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence presented the committee Wednesday with a petition of 700 names of people opposed to the bill.

The bill also would allow permit holders onto school grounds as long as their gun remains locked in their car.

“It will make legal the normal activities that regularly occur on school property, including dropping off a spouse, or a child’s lunch, homework, or medicine,” Jim Irvine, executive director of the Buckeye Arms Association, testified earlier this month.

The legislation is one of several measures that would expand gun ownership rights in the state. The Senate version of the governor’s two-year budget includes a proposal allowing active military personnel to carry a concealed weapon without going through the state permitting process.

Military personnel would have to be at least 18, have a military ID and a certificate showing they successfully completed small arms training.

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