Ohio’s expanded concealed carry law goes into effect

A law expanding concealed carry went into effect Monday in Ohio.

Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 199 on Dec.19, giving colleges the authority to allow concealed weapons on campus and expanding the places permit holds can legally carry, to include day cares, schools and airports.

The law also allows for concealed carry permit holders to store their weapons in cars parked on business property where weapons may otherwise be banned. Lawmakers threw out a provision adding concealed carry permit holders to the protected class status under the state’s anti-discrimination law after business groups argued it infringed on employers’ rights.

“This is important,” said Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association. “Because, previously, if a business bans guns at work, including parking lots, employees are essentially banned from having their firearm all day, and are defenseless from the time they leave home in the morning until they return home in the evening.”

The state’s concealed carry laws came into focus after the Nov. 28 attack at Ohio State University, where Abdul Razak Ali Artan plowed his car through a group of students and subsequently knifed them, injuring 11.

OSU police officer Alan Horujko shot and killed Artan two minutes into the attack. Investigators praise the officer’s quick actions for “likely saving lives.”

 

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“For well over a decade, Ohioans with a Concealed Handgun License have proven themselves to be overwhelmingly law-abiding and trustworthy,” Rieck said. “And SB 199 makes welcome improvements that citizens deserve.”

Concealed carry permits increased nearly 65 percent in Ohio last year, according to state data released earlier this month.

The attorney general’s Concealed Handgun Law Annual Report shows the state issued 158,982 regular licenses in 2016: 117,953 new licenses and 40,986 renewals.

It’s the busiest year for concealed carry since the law passed in 2004 — smashing the 2013 record of 96,972 new licenses by more than 20 percent.

Data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System show more than 12,000 Ohio residents applied for concealed carry permits last month, down 21 percent from last year, but still 8 percent above January.

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine told the Columbus Dispatch earlier this month the increasing interest proves it’s more than just “gun people” applying for licenses.

“It’s about safety, not just guns,” he said. “Having a smoke detector isn’t about smoke detectors; it’s about safety. Wearing a seat belt is about safety. People are starting to see that, but with guns.”

Source: Christen Smith, Guns.com

Report: Lethal firearms accidents at lowest rate since 1903

A recently released statistical report on unintentional injuries produced by the National Safety Council found that fatal accidental gun deaths are at the lowest levels since data has been collected.

The Council, chartered by Congress in 1953, released its 2017 Injury Facts edition, which found that, while deaths due to prescription drug abuse continue to rise, those from accidental gunshots continue to fall. As noted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the number of deaths due to fatal firearm accidents fell some 17 percent between 2014 and 2015, the lowest since record keeping began.

Safety programs aimed at curbing gun accidents have been on the rise over the past several generations.

While a number of states instituted firearms safety programs via hunters education classes back in the 1950s, the federal government authorized funding for such initiatives in 1970 as part of the Pittman-Robertson Act. Such programs have been cited by conservation officials when observing historic declines in gun accidents in the field during hunting seasons.

 

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“This latest release from the National Safety Council shows that the vast majority of the 100 million American firearms owners meet the serious responsibilities which come with firearms ownership,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “They store their firearms safely and securely when not in use, and follow the basic rules of firearms safety when handling them.”

The Council estimates the odds of dying by an unintentional firearms discharge is 1 in 6,905, falling between pedacyclist incidents and air and space incidents. The most likely cause of death came from heart disease or cancer, with a 1 in 7 chance.

In related news, the group puts the odds of dying in an “assault by firearm” at 1 in 370, between dying in falls and as a car occupant.

Source: Chris Eger, Guns.com

Jeff Sessions in confirmation hearings: Right to bear arms ‘historic,’ Constitutionally protected

C-SPAN reported that Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said, “In Louisiana, Senator, we believe that love is the answer. But we also believe that we have the right under the Constitution to own a gun, just in case. Could you share with me your thoughts on the Second Amendment?”

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Czech Gov’t: Placing weapons in the hands of citizens is best defense against terror

Berlin (CNSNews.com) – The Czech Republic has resisted calls by the European Union’s executive Commission to tighten gun controls in response to terror attacks, forcing the E.C. to alter its proposals, allowing for the private ownership of semi-automatic weapons.

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