Ohio Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, Ohio Mayors Alliance, Hamilton County Sheriff, Law Enforcement Officers All Testified Against Permitless Carry
Research Shows States That Have Repealed Permitting Systems Have Experienced Increases in Gun Violence
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 passed OH SB 215, harmful permitless carry legislation that would eliminate Ohio’s concealed carry handgun license requirement, out of the Ohio Senate. The bill would allow individuals to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit or safety training – a policy shown to increase gun violence in other states.
“Permitless carry is dangerous and unnecessary, and if enacted, will make Ohio’s gun violence crisis worse. Throughout the legislative process, law enforcement officers, students, and public safety advocates came together to ask our lawmakers not to pass this dangerous bill — but they did it anyway,” said Kristine Woodworth, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our lawmakers should listen to the voices of the people who elected them, and take actions that will end the gun violence crisis, not gut common sense measures that keep our communities safe.”
“Today’s vote makes it clear that our lawmakers would rather gut common sense public safety measures than protect Ohioans from gun violence,” said Cordelia Van der Veer, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Ohio. “Passing a law to allow the permitless carrying of firearms serves no purpose other than to strip away the few protections we do have to please gun extremists. We shouldn’t have to live in a world where gun violence is constantly surrounding us, and if permitless carry is enacted, it could get far worse.”
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, public safety experts and community leaders, including the Ohio Mayors Alliance, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, and Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey, all provided testimony in opposition of permitless carry. In addition to allowing individuals who should not be allowed to carry firearms in public to do so, 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.
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 also 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. More information about permitless carry is available here. Learn more about gun violence in Ohio here.