Today, the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee considered and passed House Bill 203 by an 8-4 vote. Sponsored by state Representative Terry Johnson (R-90), HB 203 seeks to make common sense improvements to Ohio’s current concealed carry and self-defense laws including the following:
- Strengthens the existing criminal background check process to obtain an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) by requiring all CHL applicants to undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) compliant background check. This improvement is the first step in allowing Ohio CHL holders to qualify for a NICS exemption when purchasing a firearm.
- Establishes an automatic reciprocity system.
- Reduces the minimum training requirement to obtain a competency certificate required to apply for a CHL from 12 hours to 4 hours.
- Applies the same federal disqualifiers for the possession and purchase of a firearm to applicants for a CHL.
- Establishes a non-resident application process to obtain a CHL.
- Modifies the state's self-defense law. Under current law, a person has no duty to retreat before using deadly force if that person is in their own home or automobile. This legislation would expand that to any place a person has a lawful right to be.
The House floor vote on HB 203 could occur as early as tomorrow. It is important that you call AND e-mail your state Representative TODAY and politely urge him or her to support HB 203. Contact information for your state Representative can be found here.