Last week Governor Kasich of Ohio abstained from his last chance to veto SB 81. The bill requires sheriffs in Ohio to accept application for concealed handgun licenses from current and former military members without a fee. But the Governor wasn’t happy that the legislature hasn’t moved on his gun control agenda.
SB81 was extremely popular in both houses of the legislature. It passed the House 81-7 and the Senate 31-2. Those numbers are far beyond the 60% of votes necessary to override a veto by the Governor.
To amend section 2923.125 of the Revised Code to waive the concealed carry license fee for active members of the armed forces and retired and honorably discharged veterans, to accept military experience with firearms as proof of competency with firearms regardless of when the applicant for a license acquired the experience, to permit a licensee to renew a concealed handgun license at any time before the expiration of the license, and to require the Attorney General to monitor the number of license fees waived and cap the total amount allowed to be waived at $1.5 million.
The fee for a concealed carry license in Ohio is $67 for residents. It’s $67 plus the cost of a background check for residents of less than five years. The only non-residents who will be accepted are those who work in Ohio. In addition, veterans will not be required to take additional training to obtain the Ohio concealed carry permit.
With an annual cap of $1.5 million per year, that translates to over 22,000 veterans who will be allowed free concealed carry permits annually, so veterans who want to avoid the fees should apply early each year. To qualify, applicants must be on active duty or have left the service with an honorable discharge. A DD214 form is considered sufficient proof of service.
Sheriffs are required to report to the Attorney General of Ohio, each time a license is issued to veterans. The Attorney General is responsible to inform sheriffs when the total amount of fees waived reaches the $1.5 million annual cap.
If, as expected, the numbers of fees waived are made available to the public, the percentage of people who are issued concealed carry permits who are veterans will be available. It’s expected that veterans make up a disproportionate number of people with carry permits. There are about 20 million veterans in the United States, or about seven percent of the U.S. adult population.
In 2017, Ohio had 623,000 active concealed carry permits. Ohio passed its shall issue concealed carry law in 2004. Ohio issued 158,000 new and renewed licenses in 2016. In 2017, Ohio issued 131,000 new and renewed licenses.
An effective date has not been assigned to SB 81 as of the time of this writing.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.