‘Constitutional carry': Is Ohio Gov. right allowing permitless carry of concealed guns?
- On March 14, 2022, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 1215 allowing people to carry concealed firearms without training or permits that will go into effect in 90 days.
- According to the National Rifle Association, Ohio is the 23rd state to join constitutional carry laws as of 2022.
- Of the US states, Ohio is rated in the top 20 for gun violence; about 1,529 people die each year with 3,552 wounded by guns.
- Twenty-two percent of Americans own one or more guns; America has 120.5 guns per 100 people, which amounts to about 393,347,000 guns - the highest per capita worldwide.
- A 2013 Pew Foundation report found that nearly 80% of both male and female gun owners reported that owning a firearm made them feel safer. Likewise, 64% of members living in a gun-owning household felt safer.
- Divided by party, 32% of Republicans, 59% of independents, and 91% of Democrats are in favor of stricter gun laws in America.
- Seven of the 50 states always require gun permits in order to obtain and carry a firearm: Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Wisconsin.
The title 'constitutional carry' is a buzzword for the extremist gun lobby and a grossly exaggerated reading of the second amendment. For those who want to flood public life with concealed guns, the second amendment has no limit, and private citizens should be able to carry exactly the same weaponry as the professional military. This is simply not the intent of the original provision, with weapons having become very sophisticated since the founders drafted the bill of rights. While the second amendment does allow for citizens to own firearms, it does not specifically bar regulation or guarantee concealed carry without a permit. Hence, the use of the term 'constitutional carry' is an attempt to paint an extremist view of the second amendment as mainstream. The bill of rights needs updating to reflect the modern realities of gun violence and halt the gun lobby mischaracterizing the amendment's intent. It may be helpful to remember that the Constitution once said that African Americans are only worth three-fifths of a person; the document is clearly not infallible and needs to be updated.
In the state of Ohio, a license is required to cut hair, teach in a school, go fishing, and many other things. Common sense shows that carrying a lethal weapon should not be exempt from this list. The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police has also come out against the bill because it relieves citizens of the responsibility to inform police they are concealing a weapon.
Finally, there is a total lack of compelling evidence that concealed carry makes anyone safer. The increased potential of violence is too high, and Governor DeWine should not have signed this bill.
Governor DeWine signing SB bill 215 will make Ohio the 23rd state to enact a constitutional carry bill. Constitutional carry allows US citizens to exercise their right to bear arms more easily without the painfully long process of waiting for a permit. And not only does this bill make it easier to take advantage of our rights as Americans—which should be a top priority—it also deters violence. A criminal is much less likely to attack someone if they are unsure if the person is armed or not.
While some people may be concerned that allowing people to carry firearms without a permit may increase violence, this has actually been proven false. This bill doesn't give known dangerous individuals the ability to carry a gun. Though a permit isn't required, individuals who are prohibited from owning a gun under state and federal law are still prohibited. Regardless of what laws are in place, a violent criminal who wants to acquire and use a firearm illegally will always be able to do so. As with all things, making something illegal doesn't stop it from happening, but this bill will make it easier for law-abiding citizens to have guns to protect themselves from those criminals.
One of the main appeals of this bill is that it stops harsh punishment of citizens who neglect to disclose that they're in possession of a firearm. This bill still requires carriers to disclose their possession of a firearm if an officer directly asks them. Still, it takes away the requirement to disclose unless an officer directly asks the individual, giving Americans more freedom to protect themselves in the wake of rising crime across the US.