Ohio Concealed-Weapons Bill Faces Veto

Associated Press
as published in The Sierra Times

Dec. 12, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio lawmakers approved legislation that would let residents carry concealed weapons, but Gov. Bob Taft said Thursday he would veto it.
The bill, passed by wide margins in the House and Senate on Wednesday, would allow Ohio residents to carry concealed weapons after passing a background check and completing safety training.

Taft, a Republican, promised a veto after unsuccessfully pushing to give reporters access to all names of permit holders by county. The bill passed by the legislature would allow reporters access to limited public records only on a name-by-name basis.

``We really came very close to a bill that I could sign and it's regrettable that we did not, but the public records portion of the bill is simply too limiting,'' Taft said Thursday.

House Speaker Larry Householder said he believed he had the votes to override a veto, but Senate President Doug White said he did not.

Forty-five other states have some version of a concealed-weapons law, according to the National Rifle Association.

Current Ohio law gives people arrested for carrying a hidden gun a chance to prove that the practice was essential for safety reasons - a so-called affirmative defense.

The new bill would allow emergency 90-day permits for people who pass a background check and sign an affidavit saying they believe their lives are in danger. In addition, people without a permit could carry concealed weapons on their own property and still use the affirmative defense, an exception aimed at large property owners, such as farmers.


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