New concealed carry bill eliminates permits

Madeleine Majikas , Reporter

The allowance of permitless carry in the US (Courtesy of Statista)

A new bill passed by Gov. Mike Dewine removed restrictions on concealed carry, increasing gun threat-related concerns.

DeWine signed Senate Bill 215 into law March 14, causing Ohio to join 23 other states that do not require a permit for concealed carry. The bill is set to take effect in June.

This bill lifts previous restrictions, allowing citizens to carry a weapon without a permit. It also removes safety measures such as required training after the purchase of a firearm. While this does not affect individually held restrictions, such as those on college campuses, it may raise the overall threat of gun violence in the state.

Police officers such as Kent State Police Sergeant Tricia Knoles, are unconcerned about the passing of this bill affecting campus safety.

“Regardless of the law, we still have the policy remaining the same at the university when it comes to deadly weapons,” Knoles said.

Kent State currently prohibits all students, staff, and faculty from possessing, storing, or using a deadly weapon while on university grounds.

Gun threats on college campuses are not uncommon, even with restrictions. Kent State law enforcement had to handle a gun threat as recently as earlier this month.

The bill was heavily backed by representatives that support the Second Amendment.

“This particular bill goes a large distance in getting the Second Amendment restored,” Sen. Terry Johnson, R-Scioto  told the Columbus Dispatch.

Tavia Galonski, Democratic Representative for parts of Akron and Barberton in Summit County, was outspoken about the bill, voting against its enactment in the House hearings.

“I believe that the only reason this bill came before the legislature and was passed was simply to satisfy a very small minority of people,” Galonski said.

With no required training, anyone over the age of 21 who wants to legally buy a gun may do so. The loosening of restrictions means patrons who have been previously turned away when purchasing a firearm may have a second chance.

It also means those who have a concealed weapon do not have to announce it to a police officer unless prompted.

Those who have opinions about this bill can contact local legislators and express their support or disapproval for the bill.

“I need you to remain hopeful that this law would be changed in the future,” Galonski said. “I think if you care about this issue, you should make sure that up and down the line of your voting ballot you do not vote for people who do not support your interest.”

Madeleine Majikas is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]