CLEVELAND — Under a bill introduced this week, Ohio would join more than a dozen other states that have eliminated the need for a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon.
The so-called constitutional carry measure would also eliminate the need to take eight hours of gun safety and gun law training, which concerns even some of the most ardent Second Amendment supporters.
Ohio law currently requires prospective concealed carry permit holders to pass a background check and complete the state-mandated training. Under constitutional carry, the concealed carry permit would be null and void and, subsequently, the need for training would no longer exist. Constitutional carry would only apply to residents who are at least 21 years old and don’t have a felony record or a history of adjudicated mental illness.
Kim Rodecker, the owner of Concealed Carry Courses LLC on Cleveland’s west side, is conflicted on the topic of constitutional carry. As a former United States Marine and lifelong firearms instructor, he strongly supports less government regulation when it comes to the Second Amendment. However, the elimination of the gun safety training requirement concerns him.
And it’s not because it would affect his bottom line.
“I am in the business but I can always go find something else to do. Education is the key to a lot of this. Just a simple bit of education,” Rodecker said. “I feel like I have stopped some people from doing something stupid just because they did that little bit of training.”
Rodecker’s basic gun safety training seminar consists of six hours of classroom learning and two hours on the gun range. The seminar encompasses gun safety, gun laws and deadly force law. It costs less than $100.
Because prospective CCW permit holders are required to undergo gun safety training, Rodecker said he’s able to quickly address bad habits, cavalier attitudes and other behavior that could lead to accidents – or worse.
“In my classes, we have about two hours on the gun law alone to keep you from going to jail and meeting… or worse, going to the morgue,” Rodecker said. “I just don’t see anything wrong with that. That little bit of education can save somebody from going to jail or getting shot when it wasn’t necessary. That $100 that you would have spent for a class – whether it be through me or anybody else – that’s nothing. It’s just nothing to keep you better educated.”
Under HB 174, people carrying a firearm would no longer be required to notify law enforcement of their weapon during a traffic stop. This provision has drawn the opposition of the Fraternal Order of Police. Governor Mike DeWine has expressed support for constitutional carry. The proposed legislation has not yet been assigned to a committee.