Yesterday, Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that Ohioans who possess a valid concealed handgun license no longer have to submit themselves to additional background checks when purchasing firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) published an open letter to Ohio Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) notifying them that, effective immediately, they may accept a valid Ohio concealed handgun license issued on or after March 23, 2015 in lieu of conducting a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Ohio’s NICS compliant standard was accomplished by the Ohio Legislature with the enactment of House Bill 234 in 2014. In order to become NICS compliant, Ohio had to prove that a background check at least as thorough as NICS is conducted to obtain a CHL and that Ohio disqualifications for receiving a CHL are at least as strict as federal law for possession of a firearm. A NICS compliant standard allowed the state of Ohio to qualify for the “Brady Alternative” which ensures that law-abiding CHL holders who have been fully vetted and have undergone a NICS check to purchase or receive a firearm from a gun dealer without the delays sometimes associated with a NICS check. For example, when the NICS system is overloaded or offline, or when an individual gets a “hold” when trying to buy a firearm because someone with a similar name has committed a disqualifying offense, the permit itself acts as verification that the holder has undergone a background check and is neither prohibited under state or federal law from possessing a firearm. Current CHL holders who commit a disqualifying offense will have their CHL revoked.
Please join your NRA in thanking the Ohio Attorney General, 130th Ohio General Assembly and Governor Kasich for their efforts with this important accomplishment.