Concealed carry law in Ohio could allow handguns on campus property

Image Credit: WCMH
Image Credit: WCMH

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Could those with concealed carry handgun licenses soon carry on colleges, universities, daycares and police stations property?

That’s part of a proposed law HB 48, which state lawmakers heard testimony on Monday and Tuesday. The law would leave some discretion for campuses to decide how to enforce it.

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Opponents worry the mixture of youth, alcohol and guns makes it a bad idea, but those in favor say it will make schools safer.

Right now colleges, universities, daycares and police stations are gun-free zones. This proposed law would allow those with CDL handguns to be left in their vehicles in parking lots. It also changes the penalty from a felony to misdemeanor, if a concealed carry handgun is accidentally carried on campus or in the daycare.

“This bill will take a step in the wrong direction, it has the very real possibility to leading to more gun deaths and lose of innocent lives,” said Dr. Elise Chambers, an OSU Grad and military veteran.

The Buckeye Firearms Association is backing the gun bill.

“This is something that license holders want, it is good law it’s copying what has worked in other states. At the end of the day it is not as controversial as today’s testimony makes it out to be,” said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association.

Opponents worry this could make for easier access to guns for kids at daycares.

“Accidents happen! Why would anyone think introducing guns into this mix is a good idea? How could carrying a gun at arrival or dismissal make it a safer time for children? It will not!” said Reverend Kristine Eggert.

The president of student-led Buckeyes for Concealed Carry said most of the concerns heard at the hearing are mislaid.

“They have read all the terrible stories about it and are not fully educated on what CHL holders know and how much they train and what all they go through,” said Katelin Nealeigh, an OSU Engineering student and President of the concealed carry group.

Republicans on the committee said the gun law should be voted in as a law before the end of the lame duck session ending next week.