COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 4, 2019) – A bill introduced in the Ohio House would make it legal for individuals over 21 years of age to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. Passage of the bill would also foster an environment more hostile to federal gun control.
Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville) and Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati), along with 25 Republican cosponsors, introduced House Bill 174 (HB174) on March 27. Under the proposed law, a person age 21 or older who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law would be able to legally carry a concealed deadly weapon without needing a license subject to the same carrying laws as a licensee. The state concealed carry licensing program would remain in place for those who want to obtain a permit in order to carry in states with CCDW reciprocity with Ohio.
“Criminals don’t go through background checks. The only purpose of having a permit is for law-abiding citizens to do a background check, and the criminals don’t get background checks,” Hood said in a video supporting the proposed law.
EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.
The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions such as the passage of HB174 lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that makes federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.