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Ohio Gov. John Kasich Signs Gun Bill Expanding Concealed Carry & Eliminating Gun-Free Zones

December 22, 2016

On Monday, Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich signed an extensive gun bill that will expand concealed carry and change a number of gun free zones, including those at schools, airports and day care centers. Initially, the bill was solely intended to expand carry rights for active duty troops. The bill had been profoundly adjusted to include language from other pro-gun legislation. The alterations were so profound that some now refer to it as a “guns everywhere” bill.

The most controversial part of the bill, which is now law, is it allows concealed carry permit holders to bring firearms inside school safety zones as long as the guns are in their vehicles, and gives colleges and universities the authority to allow for campus carry. Gun control advocates and university leaders were not in favor of the new law and aggressively lobbied Kasich to veto it if passed.

Michele Mueller, head of Ohio’s Moms Demand Action chapter said, “Governor Kasich ignored the concerns of law enforcement, business leaders, gun violence survivors, moms, daycare providers, campus stakeholders and students. By signing Senate Bill 199, Governor Kasich is siding with gun lobby interests over public safety.”

Following the recent attack on the campus of Ohio State University that sent 11 people to the hospital, both national and state gun rights groups welcomed the news of the gun bill being passed by Kasich. The National Rifle Association called the law a “victory,” and the Buckeye Firearms Association said it was “pleased” to see the bill signed into law.

The bill passed the House 68-25 and the Senate 22-8 earlier this month. Ohio Sen. Joe Uecker, R-Miami Township, designed legislation two years ago around a case where a constituent who had served in the military was barred from carrying a handgun as a civilian because he was too young to apply for a permit.

Uecker said, “Protection of our Second Amendment Rights must be taken seriously, and my sponsorship of this legislation reflects the wishes of many of my constituents. This honors the extensive firearm instruction that our service men and women undergo during their military training.”

The new law will take effect in about 90 days. This will add Ohio to the list of 23 other states that allow some form of campus carry.