Stark County Sheriff voices thoughts on House and Senate-passed SB-215


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A bill has passed through the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives that would allow people to conceal carry weapons without training or a permit.

Senate Bill 215 will head to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk after passing through the House (57-35) and the Senate – which passed a previous version of the bill back in December – 24-8.

The bill has three basic provisions:

  • A person at least 21 years old who is otherwise legally allowed to have a gun can carry it concealed without a permit, without having to take the now-required eight hours of gun safety training.
  • Holders of a current concealed-carry permit no longer have to carry that license with them.
  • If stopped by police, a person with a concealed weapon no longer has to tell officers about it unless they’re specifically asked.

Stark County Sheriff George Maier voiced his thoughts on the bill on Thursday’s Live and Local with Jordan Miller on 1480 WHBC: “With the SB-15, we see some changes as it relates to carry-and-conceal. Obviously, there are some concerns for law enforcement. We understand [and] follow what the law of [the] land is. One of the things we learn to do in law enforcement is to be adaptable, and we certainly will adapt to whatever the law ends up being.”

“As a member of the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, that’s one of the things that we asked for in the law,” Sheriff Maier added. “As I briefly looked over the law this morning…it does not look like that was one of the amendments, and so I don’t think that amendment made it through. So that’s something we’re going to have to deal with, but that is concerning. We’re all for law-abiding citizens having firearms. What we aren’t for is people who have criminal records [or criminals paths] having firearms and making it more dangerous for law enforcement.”

When asked about potential concerns for lack of training, Sheriff Maier stated: “There’s going to be a huge gap as it relates to training for folks that want to carry a firearm…The training piece is a bit concerning, and it may be something that we try to address here within the Sherriff’s office in a training format.”