Governor Mike DeWine (R-OH) signed a bill making it legal for state residents to carry a gun without first obtaining a state permit, becoming the 23rd state in the nation to enact constitutional carry legislation.
Senate Bill 215 allows anyone over 21, and who is legally eligible to own a firearm, to concealed carry.
The new law removes the requirement that citizens inform a police officer they are carrying a weapon, although they must disclose the fact if asked. The law takes effect 90 days after its signature.
Advocates say the bill more perfectly respects the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as intended by America’s Founding Fathers. “The constitution of the U.S. does not require you to have a permit or license to exercise the rights that are prescribed in the constitution,” said State Senator Niraj Antani, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Among those rights is the second amendment which is the right to bear arms.”
The new law comes as the state capital, Columbus, became one of a dozen Democrat-controlled cities to set record-breaking homicide numbers in 2021: 204 murders, or one every 1.8 days. The city’s homicide rate had already risen by 67% in 2020 — a higher rate than Chicago.
In response, the number of concealed carry permits obtained by Ohioans surged 20% last year over 2020, to 202,920, according to the state attorney general. The state already allows the open carry of firearms.