Ohio bill would repeal requirement to tell police about concealed guns

A bill has been proposed in the Ohio Legislature that would repeal the requirement that drivers give notification of concealed handgun licenses when stopped by police officers.

Supporters say House Bill 142, introduced by Republican Rep. Scott Wiggam, will rid the state of the current law they say is too vague and not consistently enforced, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“There’s no duty to promptly notify for anything else,” Rep. Wiggam said. Concealed-carry permit holders are “great citizens in society,” he said.

There are only eight other states that require drivers to notify police that they hold concealed handgun licences, and most states only require gun owners to divulge that information if asked.

The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police and the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association are both against the legislation, saying that repealing the requirement is simply a bad idea.

“There’s no reason for a law-abiding citizen not to tell a law enforcement officer that they have a concealed handgun,” said Mike Weinman, FOP director of government affairs.

Weinman also added that notification of a concealed gun can relieve tension between officer and driver.

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, firmly supports the bill, arguing police should be concerned with more serious crimes than citing gun owners for not notifying officers of concealed firearms.

“It’s not in everyone’s best interest to tie up resources,” Irvine said.

The proposal comes after new gun laws took effect in Ohio last week, which removed many restrictions regarding the storage and transportation of guns in vehicles and where lawful gun owners can carry guns in the state.