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Debate continues over Ohio bill that would allow concealed carry without training

H.B. 227 would eliminate 8 hours of CCW training
Debate on Ohio bill allowing concealed carry without training
Posted at 10:13 PM, Nov 15, 2021

CLEVELAND — Donna Segulin of Northfield has been a concealed carry gun owner since 2009, and is concerned that Ohio House Bill 227, which was recently passed by an Ohio House committee calling for the end to eight hours of required concealed carry training, is not a good idea.

Segulin and her boyfriend Jim Westfall, who also has a CCW permit, believe required training not only teaches important gun ownership mechanics, but also reinforces crucial gun owner mindset.

Ohio bill calls for the CCW training requirement to be dropped
Donna Segulin and boyfriend Jim Westfall of Northfield, believe CCW training should be maintained

“You’re handling a weapon, you need to know how to use it, how to correctly be trained on it," Segulin said. "During our concealed carry courses he gave certain scenarios, certain situations, when to use lethal force and when not to.”

H.B. 227 is also calling for the removal of Ohio residents duty to notify police officers that they’re carrying a weapon during a traffic stop. The measure would only require the driver to notify officers about the weapon if they’re asked.

Segulin believes the need to tell officers about your weapon while in a vehicle should be maintained.

“I think you should have to give disclosure," Segulin said. "First, the police man or woman is putting their life on the line, I mean you don’t know if your walking up to a car that has a weapon or not.”

However, Jim Irvine, chairman of Ohio gun group A1S4 Protection PAC told News 5 H.B. 227 would not eliminate training, it would allow Ohio gun owners to select training that best fits their gun experience and background, and would prevent low income residents from being penalized with the high cost of required training.

Ohio bill calls for the CCW training requirement to be dropped
Jim Irvine, Chairman, of Ohio gun group A1S4 Protection Pac is in support of H.B. 227

Irvine said similar legislation has been effective in 21 other states including neighboring Pennsylvania and Indiana.

“This is good bill because it’s worked in every other state, we’re just really copying the success from other states," Irvine said. "It’s also eliminating the problems with our insane duty to notify law that is unreasonable, it causes problems, no one enforces it. Go get the training that’s right for them, instead of state mandated training for everyone. Different people need different training, and you should get customized training for yourself. That’s what I would prefer. In some ways, this training and licensing regime is the worst kind of a tax on the people who need self defense most. When we look at almost two decades of data, the vast majority of self-defense cases are in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Youngstown, Akron and Canton, these are are our most disadvantaged cities, this is where crime happens. They may be able to afford a gun, by eliminating the training requirement, it allows them to buy a better gun, and it doesn’t mean they’re not getting training, it means they’re not taking a big NRA class."

But Cleveland Concealed Carry Courses owner Kim Rodecker maintains the required CCW training is part of upholding current gun safety.

Ohio bill seeks to drop CCW training requirement
Kim Rodecker, Owner of Cleveland's Concealed Carry Courses believes required CCW training is needed

“I have trained roughly 13,000 people, and in the group I have met many, many people who had no understanding of the law,” Rodecker said. "No ability to shoot, they’ve never even touched a gun before. But the biggest thing is that attitude adjustment you know. And it’s all because of your attitude, you need that education, you need that training, and we’re only talking eight hours our of your whole life. Anybody can learn proper handling of a firearm and we do go over that of course, but when it comes down to mindset, that’s a big important thing. You can’t act like Billy bad you know what.”

Cleveland Police Union President Jeff Follmer believes H.B 227 has pros and cons and issued the following statement in response to our story:

I believe everyone should have some kind of training in firearms. It’s also nice to know that an individual has a firearm in their vehicle but we treat everyone that we encounter as if they have a weapon for officer safety

Ohio Patrolman's Benevolent Association President Tom Austin issued a statement to News 5 coming out against H.B. 227:

On behalf of our membership we believe that firearm safety is paramount in today’s society and the elimination of the minimum training component by the legislature is misguided. Further notifying a police officer that you are in possession of a firearm while in a vehicle is a reasonable request to continue to be kept in the law.

The OPBA has spoken to many legislators regarding the duty to notify and have requested legislators provide the OPBA any data why there is a need for any changes to the current law

RELATED: House committee passes bill allowing for concealed carry of guns without training