The Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Ohio House of Representatives voted to pass HB 227, dangerous permitless carry legislation that would eliminate Ohio’s concealed carry handgun license requirement. The bill would put Ohioians at risk by allowing people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit or safety training. The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate.
“Our lawmakers have made it clear that they would rather cave to the gun lobby and gut gun safety measures than actually take common sense steps that would save lives,” said Kristine Woodworth, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our permitting system is a simple, common-sense way to protect Ohio’s culture of responsible gun ownership. Gutting that system is unnecessary, dangerous, and unpopular. If our permitting system is dismantled, gun violence will likely get worse and Ohioans will pay the price with their lives.”
“It is disheartening and frustrating that our lawmakers took this dangerous step towards weakening our permit system,” said Mitchell Pinsky, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Ohio. “Allowing anyone to carry guns without a permit or safety training will undoubtedly allow firearms to end up in the wrong hands, and put our lives in danger. We deserve to feel safe in our communities — it’s time that our lawmakers take action that will allow us to do so, rather than continue to strip away the few remaining protections we do have.”
Ohio currently has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, and repealing permitting requirements has been proven to increase gun violence in other states that have tried similar policies. Research shows that states that have weakened their firearm permitting system have experienced an 11 percent increase in handgun homicide rates and a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime rates.
Permitless carry laws also strip away a critical tool that law enforcement uses to differentiate between responsible gun owners and those who are prohibited from carrying a loaded weapon in public. Permitting systems like Ohio’s current system are overwhelmingly popular. According to polling, 88 percent of Americans think you should get a permit before carrying a concealed gun in public.