Sen. Terry Johnson – What Ohio’s ‘permitless’ carry legislation really does

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 25, 2022

The founders of our nation knew that a well-armed citizenry was crucial to protecting the God-given rights that we as Americans enjoy.

Our ability to speak without persecution, practice religion as we wish and live and work freely, are all protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Unfortunately, this right of the people has been eroded slowly overtime, often disguised as “common sense” reform without taking into account the original intent of the Second Amendment.

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The General Assembly of Ohio has worked hard to restore this right to the citizens of our great state, and one of these bills becomes law next week.

My bill, Senate Bill 215, has taken effect, establishing “permitless” carry here in Ohio. With this new law, I want to clarify what the bill does and does not allow and how it changes Ohio’s concealed carry laws.

First, individuals who wish to carry a concealed firearm must be 21 or older and must still be legally allowed to possess or receive a firearm under both state and federal laws. This bill does not allow any person to conceal carry without a license.

Additionally, this law preserves and protects our state’s current concealed carry license. Individuals who wish to apply for a license may still do so under the new law. An Ohio CCW license is also still needed for reciprocity in other states.

Second, the bill removes a loophole in Ohio’s firearms laws. Ohio is already an open carry state. People may freely wear their weapon on the outside of their clothing, fully visible. However, under current law before Senate Bill 215 takes effect, if they were to put on a sweatshirt or jacket without a concealed carry permit, they would be carrying illegally. Senate Bill 215 corrects this issue. Responsible gun owners should not be punished for lawfully practicing their constitutional rights.

Senate Bill 215 also modifies the law requiring individuals to voluntarily tell law enforcement officers that they were carrying a firearm. Now, they must do so only when asked, and they must answer truthfully, or face a second-degree misdemeanor.

Senate Bill 215 significantly restores Second Amendment rights, and I am proud of the work my staff and colleagues have put into this legislation. If you have any questions, please reach out to my office.

Terry Johnson is a Republican representing Ohio’s 14 Senate District, which includes Lawrence County His office can be reached at 614-466-8082.