Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature is set to hear a bill today (HB 203) that will seriously loosen Ohio’s already lax concealed carry requirements while adding new ‘stand your ground’-type exceptions to existing self defense laws.

For starters, the bill will eliminate the requirement that CCW training be conducted for a minimum of 12 hours.   Which is completely ridiculous.   I took the CCW course from a very good instructor and still I thought it was much too short and much too easy.   A couple of hours of range time, and being able to hit a target at whatever random distance the instructor feels like using, does not adequately prepare someone to carry a loaded weapon around a crowded city, much less fire that weapon safely if needed.

We found out this week that the number of concealed carry permits in Ohio has hit a record number, and the year isn’t even over yet.    Since January, 82,186 new CCW licenses were issued, blowing away last year’s record of  64,650.   If this law passes, expect that number to grow even faster as people with little or no training are issued licenses to walk around with loaded weapons tucked into the crotch of their jeans.

The bill would also automatically allow people with CCW licenses in other states to carry a weapon in Ohio if their state recognizes Ohio CCW licenses.   This removes the requirement to have a formal reciprocity agreement with other states.   Ohio already has reciprocity agreements with 23 other states.

Reciprocity agreements are actually a good thing.  They require that the Ohio Attorney General review CCW requirements in the other state to make sure they are similar to Ohio’s.   If this law passes, people from any state that recognizes Ohio’s CCW permits will be able to carry in Ohio, even if that state has much looser requirements to obtain a license.   Though, to be fair, if the other parts of this bill pass as-is, there won’t be too many states left with looser requirements.

The bill also clarifies that you can’t be charged with disorderly conduct or inducing panic if you are exercising a “constitutional right.”   This appears to be aimed at preventing people who are openly carrying guns at the local mall from being charged with a crime if they scare the crap out all the Christmas shoppers and cause a stampede.

Lastly, the bill would expand Ohio’s current self defense exception (often called the “castle doctrine”) which allows someone in their home or business to use deadly force without the duty to retreat.  Under the bill, anyone would be able to use deadly force pretty much anywhere in the state, effectively implementing a Florida-like “stand your ground” law right here in Ohio.

Speaking of Florida…. George Zimmerman is in jail again.   This time for threatening his girlfriend with a shotgun.   Zimmerman has had multiple gun-related run-ins with the law since he shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

In July, Zimmerman was pulled over for speeding in Texas with a weapon in his car.  In September, police were called to his house after his wife called 911 claiming Zimmerman had threatened her and her father with a gun.

Zimmerman was acquitted in the Martin killing because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows the use of deadly force without a duty to retreat.

The Ohio Congressional Black Caucus has an online petition asking the Governor and GOP legislators to kill the bill. 


  • These Ohio Republicans are just plain nuts. If they pass this stupid legislation, our family might just stop going to malls, restaurants, and public events.

  • SuperTanker

    Staying home would be the only prudent thing for you to do after this legislation passes. I’ll feel much better while I’m out in public if you’re not there… Happy Holidaze!!!

  • cz2075rami

    SuperTanker, your absolutely right

  • Eyes wide open

    You can just stay home and hide under the bed and no harm will ever come to you!

  • not a fudd

    stand your ground was never invoked in the Zimmerman case.

  • Michael Pope

    You know Joseph it would great if as a reporter you did more research and inserted less emotion. Just because you don’t agree with the bill or some of its components doesn’t mean it’s not good it just means you don’t agree. As a Certified NRA Instructor just because the new Ohio Law will only require 4 hours of classroom, NRA requirement is a minimum of 8hrs. The whole idea of Concealed Carry is NOT to be comprehensive but to be an introduction to prepare someone to carry a loaded weapon. Extra courses like Advanced Concealed Carry courses offered at MOFTA and other prominent training facilities in Ohio.
    I’m sure though that since you thought the course was too short and too easy you will be taking and suggestion others take advanced courses.

  • Retrofuturistic

    This is so stupid, just like everything else that has been passed by the Kasich administration and its Tea Party legislature.

  • jdparsons1

    Yes indeed. Malls right now are very safe. I’m sure the gentlemen with their pants saggin to their knees and red bandannas that frequent our malls make the responsible choice and decide to leave their firearms in their vehicle because they observe the no firearms sign on the door. Now the malls will no longer be a safe place to go once those nutty republicans have their way!

  • Wfeather1942

    Just horrible how intended victims no longer have to be worried about being prosecuted for defending themselves!

  • Wfeather1942

    Horrible that little thuggstas get shot by their intended victims eh!

  • jack burton

    It’s no longer responsible for people to pass on fearmonger with the decades of evidence before us. Many states, including the neighboring states of Indiana and Pennsylvania have NO training requirements for CCW holders. The consequence? Those states, and many more, have the SAME virtually zero rates of misbehaviour by CCW holders. Hoosiers and others without the mandated training somehow seem to be behaving perfectly fine just the same as states with excessive training and testing required to ge the licence.

    The author is simply irresponsible in not knowing this but passing on his ignorance to the readers. He is little different from a five year old on a trike trying to explain to the adults in the room about the best NASCAR racing strategy. He may have heard some words he can repeat here and there, but the reasoning power just isn’t there.

    And everyone in Ohio ALREADY has the ability by law to “use deadly force pretty much anywhere in the state.” Any so-called SYG law does not affect the standards required for lawful self defense. But the author doesn’t know this either. Yet he comments anyway.

  • jack burton

    Good… we gun owners won’t have to stand in line as much to get into our favorite places. Thanks.

  • Barry Hirsh

    “This time for threatening his girlfriend with a shotgun.”

    Uh, where is the modifier “allegedly” in there?

    So nice of you to report so objectively……

  • Barry Hirsh

    Oh my GOODNESS! Ohio is actually recognizing an unalienable RIGHT!


  • Concerned American

    This Bill (2013 HB 203) is a good step towards improving the current Ohio CCW Law, and needs to be passed. This Bill does not create a “Stand You Ground” law or unnecessarily loosen the restrictions on getting a CCW license, nor will it’s passage create a “Wild West” in Ohio, like the opponents of sensible gun laws have been stating for over a decade. While this Bill clearly is not perfect, it is a positive step in a positive direction. It is *not* at all related to the tragic events in Florida or any other State. It *is* related to clarifying another long-standing deficiency in Ohio’s Laws.

    For those of you that are afraid of guns, I encourage you go take a (free) gun safety course. They are offered all over the U.S. by trained professionals, and many of them are free. You never need to own your own gun to be educated about them, to understand how safe operation can save lives, or to understand how CCW permits are actually a benefit to all of us, not just those that believe in the Right to Self Defense. In fact, you can legally obtain and keep a CCW permit (assuming you are qualified) and never even own or carry a gun.

    Maybe you should try that before dismissing this legislation as unneeded or useless. Improving the laws to remove unnecessary complications in interpretation (which is the primary focus of this Bill) is *not* going to result in more shootings or loss of life. It might save some lives, however, including yours or someone you know someday.

  • Barry Hirsh

    You are already surrounded by people carrying concealed firearms, who would no more shoot someone for no reason than you would, had you the intelligence and prescience to go armed.

    What SYG does is to insulate them from prosecutors who think like YOU.

  • I am a gun owner and a CCW permit holder. I have been shooting my whole life. I practice regularly. And I absolutely do not think every random Joe or Jane Schmoe should be walking around with a gun in their fanny pack without first proving they have some idea how to use their weapon and, more importantly, WHEN they can and should use it.

    If you want to improve Ohio’s CCW licensing process I’d highly recommend standardizing some of classroom training to focus on the law and on situations in which you can legally use deadly force.

    Instead this bill wants to eliminate the 12 hour requirement – which is pretty much the only requirement we have right now.

    I certainly don’t expect every CCW permit holder to be master marksman. You aren’t going to be shooting at a guy 25 yards away in most reasonable self defense scenarios.

    My CCW instructor spent a good portion of the classroom time discussing self defense, the law and taking questions about appropriate situations in which lethal force can be used.

    It was clear by the questions being asked that people did not come into that class with a clear understanding of when they could fire their weapon or what would happen after they chose to use it.

    For example, a woman who lived in an apartment building asked “how many warning shots can I fire?” Another guy asked “what if I just want to shoot him in the leg?”.

    Many people were stunned to find out that they would probably be arrested, possibly prosecuted and almost certainly sued if they shoot someone in self defense.

    I think many people get their CCW license and think they are going to be the hero who kills the next Sandy Hook shooter. In reality, it’s just as likely they could turn out to be the next George Zimmerman – with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills and people sending you death threats.

    While we’re talking about improving the CCW training, how about adding a section on situational awareness and some suggestions on how to avoid situations where you might need to fire your weapon?

    I am all for CCW is Ohio. If you know how to use your weapon, how to properly carry it and know when, where and under what circumstances you can and should fire it – then carry away.

  • Advanced courses are a great suggestion.

    And no, I don’t expect CCW holders to be able to shoot like Marine Corps snipers.

    But, as I mentioned in my earlier comment, I would like to see more formal training requirements that include training and testing around the law, when you can and should use your weapon, etc. Something similar to a driver license exam maybe.

  • jack burton

    Why? All evidence over decades of use with millions of people over dozens of states show that your “like” has no basis in fact for being put into operation.

    This is what passes for “common sense” gun control. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a non existent problem.

  • fry1laurie

    “you can’t be charged with disorderly conduct or inducing panic if you are exercising a ‘constitutional right.'” I hope they also apply that to the first amendment, after people protesting at the State House were arrested for “exercising a constitutional right.”

  • It’s all in the reflexes, Jack.

  • gunnut1970

    Concealed carry, as it has expanded from about 10 states to all 50 states over the last 20 years, regardless of the details of the state law, has not caused problems in any state in which it has been implemented. Concealed carry licensees have been shown to be statistically more law abiding than the general population. Other comparisons of data have shown that concealed carry licensees are statistically more law abiding that even the police at least in terms of the numbers of murders committed.

  • Fay Holbrook

    yea right.heehee

  • ArmEveryone

    The writer of this article is a liberal dolt. Any Christmas shopper that would be scared of seeing an open carrier is also a dolt. If someone’s going to rob the place, they’re not going to walk around with their gun showing in a holster.

    Why should there be strict requirements for law-abiding people to carry concealed? Criminals sure as hell don’t need strict requirements. They steal their guns or buy them from gang members. As it is, the balance is already in the criminal’s favor. They’re going to get guns no matter what silly gun laws are in place.

    What we need are more law-abiding people with CCWs. It’s already been proven time and time again. Where there are more people with guns, there is less crime. It’s a fact that these liberal tools can’t seem to comprehend. They prefer to make it ridiculously hard and time consuming for citizens to get a CCW and choose to ‘protect’ our schools with a “Gun-Free Zone” sign. It’s laughable and absurd.

    It’s simple; bad guys will always have guns. (See Chicago for example) even if there’s a complete BAN. What we need is a practical way to defend ourselves against those bad guys. Making firearms more difficult to obtain will NOT make it one degree harder for criminals to get them.

    Last time I checked, heroin and crack were against the law and they’re everywhere, in every city in the US. Making something illegal and harder to get for law-abiding people only makes the criminal’s job easier.

  • Remember

    This article is nothing but fearmongering by someone that doesn’t realize how law-abiding concealed carry people generally are and have been. There is nothing to see here, and George Zimmerman was protecting his life by using his god-given right of self defense from a thug that started the assault.

  • Remember

    You’re safe unless someone invades your house. What will you do then? The perpetrators will most likely have guns. More currently, check out the three dead victims in Barberton, Ohio.

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