YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A new constitutional carry law will take effect in Ohio next week. The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office spoke about the changes this new bill will create.
On Monday, June 13, Senate Bill 215 will take effect. It allows “qualifying adults” in Ohio to carry a concealed handgun without the need for a special permit.
Qualifying adults are 21 years of age or older, legal residents, not fugitives, not subject to a protection order, have not been hospitalized or adjudicated mentally ill, have not been dishonorably discharged from the military, do not have a conviction or delinquency for a felony, a drug offense, domestic violence, one misdemeanor offense of violence within three years or two within five years, or are not otherwise forbidden under state or federal law.
Right now, law officers know if someone is a concealed carry permit holder. Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said this new law will create extra steps for officers.
“It’s going to change the way we question people, especially during traffic stops in a motor vehicle. You know, it’s going to be going from license and registration to license, registration and, ‘Are you carrying a concealed handgun right now?'” said Greene.
Greene said law enforcement will now need to be aware that more people will be carrying firearms.
“Many people we will encounter now will have firearms on them that normally wouldn’t have them and that changes things for us,” said Greene.
The sheriff is concerned that the new law doesn’t require handgun safety classes.
“The chances of there being some accidents with lack of training and lack of knowledge with these firearms is raising – the chances of something like that happening,” said Greene.
Greene believes anyone who plans to carry a concealed handgun should take safety and responsibility seriously.
“I mean, without a doubt learn the basics about a firearm, handling a firearm, where to store a firearm, and really take those issues seriously,” said Greene.
Regardless of the recent change in Ohio’s concealed carry law, deadly weapons are still prohibited in courthouses, schools, malls, private businesses and more.
“If you get pulled over and asked if you have a firearm and you don’t tell the person or the officer the truth it is considered improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle,” said Greene.
The Training Range in Youngstown said although you no longer need a concealed carry license, safety programs are still highly recommended.
“I still think it’s a good idea to get out and practice, get the cobwebs out, get familiar with your firearm and how to use it properly,” said Richard Baker with the Training Range.
Greene also said as this law continues to be updated, law enforcement will continue their best practices and training to be best informed and prepared to keep the public safe.