Mar 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Ohio governor signs concealed firearms bill removing permits requirement

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during a debate on "Meet the Press" at the NBC Studios in Washington, D.C., in 2006. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill Monday that will allow anyone 21 and older who is lawfully allowed to possess a weapon to carry a concealed gun without a permit.

Our thought bubble: DeWine faces a multi-way challenge for the Republican primary for governor. His signing of the permitless carry bill comes just weeks before early voting starts.

Between the lines: The Ohio governor was pressured to act to curb gun violence after a shooting killed nine people in Dayton in 2019, shortly into his first term. He proposed gun reforms, but the GOP legislature rejected it.

The big picture: Ohio is now one of 23 states with permitless carry laws, also referred to as "constitutional carry." It joins states such as Alabama, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

  • Previously, Ohio law required individuals to attend eight hours of training, receive a background check and submit an application through the local sheriff in order to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
  • The new law, which passed the state legislature almost entirely along partisan lines, removes the permit requirement.

Worth noting: Ohio law enforcement opposed the bill, with several police unions testifying against it, along with law enforcement leaders and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.

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