July 6, 2017 – Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and members of the Ohio Coalition for Common Sense condemned the Ohio House of Representatives today for advancing a dangerous new bill (HB 233) that decriminalizes carrying a firearm in many public places, including bars, courthouses, airport terminals, university and college campuses and even school safety zones. Members of the Ohio Coalition for Common Sense testified in opposition to several gun bills moving through the Ohio Legislature, including HB 233.
Nico Bocour, State Legislative Affairs Manager, Americans for Responsible Solutions:
“Today is a sad day for the state of Ohio. This extreme bill, which was backed by the Washington gun lobby, will make it easier for dangerous individuals to carry loaded firearms in many public places, including bars, airport terminals and even schools. The Senate should put the public safety of Ohioans before the interests of the Washington gun lobby and immediately reject this bill.”
Jack D’Aurora, President, Kiwanis Club of Columbus and Advisory Committee member of the Ohio Coalition for Common Sense:
“As a retired Naval officer and lawyer, I’m disappointed to see our elected leaders pass this dangerous proposal that makes it easier for people to carry loaded firearms into places like courts and bars. Carrying concealed weapons increases the likelihood that daily disagreements will escalate into shootouts. People carrying hidden, loaded handguns in public creates unnecessary risks of intentional or accidental shootings. I hope the Ohio Senate will do the responsible thing and oppose this bill.”
House Bill 233
- The bill decriminalizes carrying a firearm in many public places, including bars, school safety zones, courthouses, airport terminals, university and college campuses, houses of worship, government buildings and any place federal law prohibits firearms, or premises posted with a no firearms sign unless the person refuses to leave the premises or leaves and subsequently returns to the premises within 30 days while armed. If a person does either of those things, the violation is criminal trespass with a deadly weapon.
- Removes the requirement that a child day care center post a sign prohibiting guns on the premises.
- Decriminalizes permittees carrying firearms in a liquor establishment.
About The Ohio Coalition For Common Sense:
The coalition’s members – which include gun owners, veterans, law enforcement officials, domestic violence prevention advocates, educators, and business leaders – are urging their elected officials to advance policies that help keep guns out of the wrong hands and prevent gun tragedies while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans to own firearms.
The Ohio Coalition for Common Sense is fighting for solutions that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, like:
- Supporting Stronger Gun Laws That Are Proven To Reduce Gun Violence. Congress and the Ohio Legislature must strengthen existing laws by cracking down on gun trafficking and closing the loopholes in our background check system that let felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill buy guns with no questions asked – a policy that over 83 percent of Ohioans support.
- Opposing Dangerous New Laws In Ohio That Threaten Public Safety. The Coalition is working to oppose irresponsible new laws in Ohio like HB 233 that would make it easier for dangerous people to carry firearms in more places.
- Stopping The Proliferation Of Silencers. Silencers mask the sound of a gun being fired. Responsible regulation has made silencers extremely difficult for criminals to obtain, but when they have, the results are devastating. Past criminal use of silencers has resulted in assassination-style murders where first responders cannot quickly identify the source of gunfire. Putting more silencers on the street would also diminish the effectiveness of gunshot detection technology, making it harder for police officers to safely respond to and investigate gun crimes, whether they have been called or not.
- Stopping Federally Mandated Concealed Carry. Currently, each state decides whether it will recognize concealed carry weapons permits issued by other states. If the gun lobby has its way, Congress will override existing state laws and force every state to recognize concealed carry permits issued by every other state. This would create a race to the bottom, giving the weakest state laws in the country the furthest reach and allowing individuals to carry guns in states where they cannot legally purchase firearms. It also directly undermines the ability of law enforcement officers to effectively do their jobs and ensure public safety. If this law were to pass, there would be no way for police officers to verify that individuals are carrying lawfully, which creates confusing – and dangerous – situations for the public and police alike.
About Gun Violence In Ohio
- In recent years, Ohio has lost an average of 1,300 Ohioans to gun violence per year—that’s more than three a day—along with an even greater number of nonfatal shootings. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
- In 2015 alone, Ohio tallied 484 gun homicides, 861 gun suicides, and many more gun-related injuries. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] [WLWT News]
- Guns are the second leading cause of injury death in Ohio [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
About Ohio’s Gun laws
Ohio has some of the poorest gun laws in the nation, regularly scoring a D in the Law Center’s annual Gun Law State Scorecard. It fails to require background checks for private sales, does not require gun dealers to obtain a state license and provide local governments with the discretion to deny concealed weapons permits. Learn more about gun laws in Ohio, here.