Support House Bill 174

To the Editor:

I support House Bill 174. Carry conceal permit holders have proven to be the most responsible and law-abiding citizens when it comes to carrying concealed firearms. This was published with research by the FBI. As of this moment, there are 14 states that no longer require law-abiding citizens to obtain a permit in order to carry a firearm concealed. Newest states are Kentucky, South Dakota and Oklahoma. Ohio is the latest state to move in this direction.

House Bill 174 eliminates the eight hours of training, the $65 fee for the permit, which included a background check, and renewing the permit every five years. Also included in House Bill 174 is the need to tell a police officer you are carrying a firearm. As the law is written now, when stopped for a traffic violation or DUI checkpoint, the officer runs your vehicle license through the BMV database. It will automatically notify the officer if you have a CCW permit. There has been the incidence of a victim, with CCW permit, being involved in a serious vehicle crash and unable to respond to police, having their CCW permits revoked for failing to inform an officer of the firearm in the car.

In a recent letter to the editor (April 3), the author was concerned about the training requirements and background check being eliminated to carry a concealed firearm. In order to purchase a firearm, a person must be 21 years of age. At the time of purchase, a background check is completed by the Federal Firearm Licensed dealer. This is required by federal law. This procedure prevents people from obtaining firearms if they are restricted from owning one because of past criminal activities. This requirement hasn’t changed. As for training, at age 18 you can legally purchase a rifle or shotgun, again after a background check, legally carry a firearm in Ohio, and are not required to have any sort of training. In regards to the training requirements, the training is only as good as the person who is going to use it properly.

As an example; teenagers 15.5 years of age to 18 must attend a state-approved drivers education class involving 24 hours of class time, complete eight hours of drive time with a certified instructor and have 50 hours of driving completed with a parent or guardian before receiving a driver’s license. And yet 50 percent of all traffic fatalities are teen drivers between the ages of 15-19. There are many reasons this occurs and needs to be corrected.

Go to the attorney general’s website for Ohio and check the statistics for CCW permit holders and see how many of them have made fatal mistakes or abused the right to carry a firearm concealed. Considering the number of people with CCW permits, the actual numbers are extremely low. People who carry a concealed firearm are responsible, law-abiding citizens.

— Gary Cooper