The 129th General Assembly did not waste any time in changing state law to allow citizens with conceal carry permits (CCWs or CHLs) to carry their handguns into new venues. State Senator Tim Schaffer introduced SB 17 for the first time on February 1, 2011, it passed the Senate on April 13, 2011 and was sent on to the House. The House passed it on June 15, 2011, and Governor Kasich signed SB 17 into law on June 30, 2011. The new law goes into effect on September 30, 2011. Now, if we can get the legislature focused on fixing school funding, we’ll really have something to cheer about.
The most notable change to the existing law is that individuals with concealed carry permits may now carry their firearms into bars and restaurants. However, it is still unlawful for a permit holder to consume intoxicating beverages while carrying a concealed firearm. Bar and restaurant owners can stop permit holders from carrying firearms into their establishments by prominently displaying a notice informing them firearms may not be carried inside.
Another major change in the law has to do with how CCW permit holders transport their firearms. Under existing law, CCW permit holders had a number of restrictions on how firearms were transported in automobiles. For example, the existing law required the gun to be in a holster, in a locked box in plain view, or in a locked glove compartment. The new law appears to eliminate most of these restrictions. In addition, if a person was cited for improper handling of a firearm in the past, the new changes to the law allow for that charge to be expunged from their criminal record.
Other changes in the law are generally cleaning up sloppy draftsmanship of the existing law. For example, under the existing law, it is unlawful to possess a concealed firearm in a bar if the individual is consuming liquor. The new law makes it unlawful to possess a concealed firearm if the individual is consuming beer or intoxicating liquor.
If you are a CCW permit holder, a bar or restaurant, call my offices today to get a complete synopsis of the new law and legal advice on how to comply with the new law.
*This post is briefly summarizing over ten pages of changes to the law and can not be relied upon as legal advice*