Both chambers of the Ohio state legislature are weighing laws to lift restrictions on gun ownership, including waiving training requirements to carry a concealed weapon.
The current Ohio concealed carry law only allows those 21 and older to obtain a concealed carry permit after completing an eight-hour training course and passing a background check.
That training is being proposed to be waived in both the Ohio House (Bill 227) and Senate (Bill 215), WKYC News reported.
The conceal carry program launched in 2004, requiring 12 hours of training. "Pre-emption" legislation passed in 2006, blocking cities from having gun laws stricter than state law. And, in 2020, Ohio passed a "stand your ground" law, removing the requirement for an individual to retreat before responding to a threat on their life with deadly force.
The House Government Oversight Committee held a hearing on removing the training requirement for concealed carry, and anti-gun violence advocacy group Moms Demand Action spoke out against the bill, fearing a rise in gun violence, according to the report.
"It allows guns in the pockets of lowlifes," MDA member Sieglinde Martin argued.
Around 1,200 concealed carry applications are denied each year on background checks, according to the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
"I don't think there's anything in the bill that says, 'If you're prohibited from carrying a [concealed] firearm, suddenly now you can' — if you're prohibited, you're prohibited," the bill's cosponsor, state Rep. Shane Wilkin, told WKYC.
"Those that are going to carry that are not mindful of the law regardless of what it is, are going to carry regardless."
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has not taken a position on the lifting of training requirements, according to a Yost spokesman.
The U.S Concealed Carry Association notes 21 states allow inhabitants (residents only in North Dakota) to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, which includes neighboring states of West Virginia and Kentucky.
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