An Ohio bill that would significantly reduce penalties against conceal carry permit holders who don’t report possessing guns to police passed a committie and is heading to the full house, but not before police organizations tried to get the bill killed, claiming it would put their lives in danger.
House Bill 142 was a watered-down substitute for an original bill that would have wiped out penalties altogether. It did, however, cut the penalty for not speaking up about your guns from a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine to just a $25 fine.
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To the frustration of some pro-gun lawmakers, the compromise wasn’t enough for some gun-rights advocates.
Chris Dorr, director of Ohio Gun Owners, asked, “Who is this committee trying to placate?” Answering himself, he said it must be people who don’t have “full restoration of gun-owners’ rights at heart.”
Gary Witt, director of Ohio Concealed Carry, said that when law-enforcement groups say it puts officers in danger when they don’t know about permit holders’ guns during detentions and traffic stops, they’re making “false claims.”
As with Dorr, Witt said his group was opposed to anything short of scrapping the penalties.
And as with a few other pro-gun Republicans, Rep. John Becker of Union Township seemed incredulous.
“This legislation is way more than half a loaf,” he said. “It’s everything but the last slice.”
The measure, which did have the support of the Buckeye Firearms Association, passed the House Federalism and Interstate Regulations Committee 9-2. It goes now to the full House.