Hamilton County Sheriff, Law Enforcement Officers, Student Advocates, Ohio Mayors Alliance Also Testified Against the Legislation
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 Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee voted to pass OH SB 215, harmful permitless carry legislation that would eliminate Ohio’s concealed carry handgun license requirement, out of committee. During today’s hearing, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers were joined by public safety experts and community leaders, including the Ohio Mayors Alliance, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, and Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey, in providing testimony in opposition of permitless carry. SB 215 would put Ohioians at risk by allowing people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit or safety training.
“Law enforcement officers, students, and advocates from across the state came out to today’s hearing to oppose this dangerous policy, but despite widespread opposition, our lawmakers passed this bill out of committee anyway,” 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, and gutting that system is dangerous and unnecessary. Today’s vote makes it clear that our lawmakers would rather gut sensible public safety measures than protect Ohioans and law enforcement officers from gun violence.”
Permitless carry laws 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. 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.
Eliminating Ohio’s concealed handgun license requirement would put Ohio children, families, and communities at risk by allowing people with dangerous histories and those without any firearm safety training to carry loaded handguns in crowded town centers and on city streets. Polling shows that permitting systems like Ohio’s current system are overwhelmingly popular. 88 percent of Americans think you should get a permit before carrying a concealed gun in public.