Ohio Reps Introduce Bills to Ban Gun-Free Zones and Loosen Other Gun Restrictions

These days, we have so many laws on the books, it’s not humanly possible to know them all. For that reason, we don’t need more laws to fix things. The only kinds of legislation that we need are those repealing bad laws.

Now, I don’t know if that’s what these Ohio state reps are necessarily doing with their legislation, but at least the effect will be taking away restrictions on the 2nd Amendment.

The Columbus-Dispatch reported:

If approved, four new proposals by Republican lawmakers would allow Ohioans to carry concealed handguns without a permit and bring them to college campuses, churches, day-care facilities and government buildings, and make it harder for law enforcement to seize weapons.

Rep. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon, is a sponsor of one of the bills and chairman of the House State Government Committee, where they were heard. Maag said Ohio needs to make additional changes in state law to “facilitate responsible gun ownership and enable Ohioans to protect themselves.”

House Bill 48, Maag’s proposal, would eliminate what he called “victim zones” in churches, day-care centers, private aircraft, government buildings and college campuses, where weapons are not permitted under current law.

Asked about the limits of the right to bear firearms, Maag defined it as “something you can carry.”

A sweeping proposal came from Rep. Ron Hood, R-Ashville, who advocated what he called “constitutional carry” or “permit-less carry.” It would allow people to carry concealed weapons without obtaining a permit, a practice now allowed in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Vermont and Wyoming.

“If bearing arms is a right, it is not the job of government to require law-abiding citizens to jump through one of the most-burdensome processes in the country to exercise,” Hood said of the need to eliminate permits.

Rep. John Becker, a Cincinnati-area Republican, quoted from the Bible where Jesus tells his disciples, “if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one,” in asking sponsors if gun ownership is a “God-given right.”

“It does have some biblical background,” replied Rep. Tom Brink-man, R-Cincinnati.


Rep. Mike Curtin, D-Marble Cliff, a member of the committee, grilled sponsors about “where you draw the line between who can carry and who cannot?” Curtin said, “From cap guns to ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles), we have a broad range of firepower available.”

Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, was quick to reply.

“I’d defend my home with an ICBM any day of the week if I could, but I’m not allowed,” he said.

Obviously, the ICBM comment was a joke. We’re talking about firearms here. Handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

This is the kind of common sense legislation we need if we want to combat violent crime. Allow the law-abiding citizens to carry without requiring them to have government-issued permits, and eliminate areas that were previously “gun-free.” In a current “gun-free” zone, the only people who will be carrying are criminals who are planning to commit some kind of violent crime on a defenseless victim. If you get rid of those zones and allow people to carry, those criminals will have a harder time succeeding. In fact, maybe they won’t even bother. At that point, it would be too risky to try.