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 Ohio lawmakers today voted to pass HB 227, dangerous permitless carry legislation that would eliminate Ohio’s concealed carry handgun license requirement, out of the House Government Oversight Committee. The bill would put Ohio children, families, and communities at risk by allowing people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit or safety training. Ohio Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers submitted testimony in opposition to the legislation during today’s hearing.
“It is frustrating that our lawmakers continue to prioritize dangerous legislation, like this permitless carry bill, that serves no purpose other than to appease the gun lobby,” said Laura Robertson-Boyd, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Every day, more and more Ohioans’ lives are cut short by gun violence, and yet our lawmakers would rather strip away critical protections that keep guns out of the wrong hands and require firearm training than take real action to address public safety. We will continue to fight against dangerous policies that threaten Ohio communities.”
“Our state is experiencing a clear and present gun violence crisis. This cannot and should not be our reality, and allowing people to carry guns without a permit or safety training would only make it worse,” said Amira Khoury, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Ohio whose cousin was shot and killed in Ohio this summer. “We deserve lawmakers who will prioritize common sense gun safety laws that will protect us from gun violence”
Ohio communities continue to experience high levels of gun violence, and the state currently has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. 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 could worsen Ohio’s gun violence crisis.
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.
In an average year, 1,529 people die and 3,552 people are wounded by guns in Ohio. Gun deaths increased 34 percent from 2010 to 2019, compared to a 17% increase nationwide during the same time period. Gun violence costs Ohio $10.9 billion each year, of which $486.5 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about permitless carry is available here. Learn more about gun violence in Ohio here.