A prominent Ohio police group has come out against a proposal that would lessen the penalties for concealed carry permit holders who do not inform police officers that they are carrying when lawfully detained.
The measure, House Bill 142, was passed out of the House Federalism and Interstate Regulations Committee in September. However, Ohio’s Fraternal Order of Police has since declared their opposition to the bill, arguing it would make police officers less safe, the Associated Press reported.
Under current Ohio law, the failure of concealed carry permit holders to declare they are carrying a weapon is categorized as a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. The proposal would decrease that penalty to a $25 fine.
Jay McDonald, FOP’s president, said officers need to know when a person they are dealing with is armed and argued decreasing the penalties would result in less people disclosing that information. He added that there was no reason law-abiding gun owners should not tell police when they are carrying.
Ironton Police Detective Capt. Joe Ross echoed McDonald’s concerns, telling WBAZ that he always emphasizes the disclosure provision of the law when teaching concealed carry classes.
“It should be on page one,” he said. “To me it’s the most important thing in the book.”
“Lowering the penalty to that is ridiculous,” he added.
Some Ohio gun rights have said they will only be satisfied with a full repeal of the penalties, while the Buckeye Firearms Association has come out in support of the proposal.