Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ohio Senate Bill 239 Passes - Restaurant Carry

A modification to the rules for concealed firearm carry passed the Ohio Senate Thursday. The Columbus Dispatch has the most detailed article I could find.

The Ohio Senate Bill, SB 239, like its House counterpart, HB 203, would allow CCW permit holders to exercise their permit in restaurants that serve alcohol just like they are allowed to already in any other store or restaurant, so long as they themselves do not drink.

I prefer the language of the Senate Bill to that of the House Bill because it actually removes words from the law and is easier to read. I don't really want to have to know about the different classes of liquor licenses to determine which buildings I can walk into.

SB 239 goes beyond the House Bill in that it also removes restrictions on how firearms may be carried in cars. The current law has some somewhat confusing language about closed containers and such which might be easy to violate accidentally or that may be unevenly enforced by officers. I personally consider this part of the revision far less important than the restaurant carry modification. There is some wisdom in at least requiring that that the weapon be holstered and in some way restrained so that it is not allowed to freely float around the car's interior. That said, I welcome simplification of the law. Hopefully that safety issue can be addressed just as effectively in training classes and the Ohio CCW handbook without requiring the force of law.

I would like to thank the Ohio Senators who voted for this bill and encourage the Ohio House members to act swiftly to pass it there as well. This is one of the few Ohio laws that affects my daily routine and I would very much like to see it adopted. It would certainly make going to Chipotle easier.

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