Tomorrow, December 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its third and final hearing on House Bill 495 at 3:00 p.m. in the North Hearing Room of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
This essential pro-gun reform legislation was introduced on March 27 by state Representative Terry Johnson (R-89) and, if enacted, would address several problems with current Ohio gun laws. HB 495 passed in the state House of Representatives by a 59 to 28 vote on June 13, and needs to be approved by the state Senate before being sent to the Governor for his signature. Attorney General Mike DeWine expressed his support for HB 495 in a letter to this committee at its previous hearing on December 4.
Specifically, HB 495 would make the following changes:
• Establish automatic reciprocity between Ohio and other states that have automatic reciprocity for their concealed handgun licenses. Currently, the Attorney General must enter into a written agreement with another state to establish reciprocity. HB 495 would still allow for written agreements between the states if the other state does not have automatic reciprocity, but it eliminates the requirement for a written agreement if reciprocity can occur automatically by operation of law.
• Eliminate the renewed competency certification requirement for concealed carry licenses. Currently, after the first renewal of your concealed handgun license, you must submit proof of renewed competency to show that you are range competent for all subsequent renewals. HB 495 would make it so that you can simply show your existing or expiring license or your original competency certificate as proof that you have had the necessary training for all renewals.
• Change the definition of a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Currently, a firearm is considered loaded if a loaded magazine is present in the vehicle, even if the magazine is not inserted into the firearm. HB 495 would change the definition so that the magazine must be inserted into the firearm before it is considered loaded.
• Define “Concealed Handgun License” in one section of the revised code and clarify that the definition applies to all references to a concealed handgun license in the state revised code. HB 495 would simplify the state law and make it easier to read, understand, comply with, and enforce.
Please call and e-mail members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today and urge them to support HB 495. Contact information for members of this committee can be found by clicking here.