Ohio’s scaled-down concealed carry bill heads to Gov. Kasich

Ohio legislators combined two concealed carry bills into one, scaled-down version before sending it to Gov. John Kasich’s desk for a signature Friday.

Senate Bill 199 originally added concealed carry permit holders to the protected class status under the state’s anti-discrimination law, however, business groups argued it infringed on employers’ rights.

The state House voted Thursday 68-25 to scale back the bill and instead prohibit employers from barring concealed carry permit holders from storing their weapons in cars parked on company property. Legislators also amended in key pieces of House Bill 48, which expands where permit holders can carry their weapons, to include daycares, airport terminals and university campus that approve the option for students and faculty.

The bill also allows active duty military to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Not included in Senate Bill 199 was a provision allowing concealed carry in government buildings lacking security checkpoints. Complaints surfaced from local government representatives of losing control of building policies and incurring extra expense adding security measures to keep guns out.

The two bills gained legislative momentum following the Nov. 28 attack at Ohio State University, where Abdul Razak Ali Artan plowed his car through a group of students and subsequently knifed them, injuring 11.

OSU police officer Alan Horujko shot and killed Artan two minutes into the attack. Investigators praise the officer’s quick actions for “likely saving lives.”

House Bill 48 passed in the state House last year, but has remained untouched in committee until news of the attack spurred Senate lawmakers into action.

Likewise, Senate Bill 199 languished in the House State Government Committee for six month until legislators sped it through the voting process a week after the attack.

The Senate voted 22-8 early Friday morning to concur in the House’s changes to Senate Bill 199.

Kasich has 10 days to sign the bill.

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