Last Wednesday the Ohio House of Representatives voted 69 to 15 to pass HB 234, a bill with numerous pro-gun measures, to Governor John Kasich for his signature. The bill is widely supported by Second Amendment advocates, and would reform the concealed carry process, legalize hunting with suppressors, and recognize handgun licenses from other states.

“Our work today makes it easier for law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to bear arms while putting in safeguards—real safeguards—to keep people safe in Ohio,” Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) told Cleveland.com last Tuesday, when the bill was approved in the state Senate by a 24 to 6 vote.

In addition to other provisions, the bill would reduce the number of mandatory training hours for a concealed carry license from 12 to eight. HB 234 will also throw out a rule that required concealed carry applicants to be a resident of Ohio for at least 45 days, and a resident of their county for 30 days. The bill would also bring Ohio into compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, so firearm purchasers do not have to undergo a separate NICS check if they already have a state handgun license.

For hunters, however, the ability to use suppressors is perhaps the biggest news. The devices can significantly reduce the noise level of a gun shot.

Last month Florida legalized the use of suppressors after a strong push from hunters, and in spite of opposition from gun control activists. Gun control groups have also criticized HB 234 over its concealed carry measures.

The NRA praised the state for moving in a pro-gun direction.

“The NRA thanks you for contacting your state legislators to help finally pass this comprehensive pro-gun legislation,” The NRA said in a statement on its Institute for Legislative Action website. “Please now contact Governor Kasich and politely ask him to sign HB 234 into law.”

Image by user Augustas Didžgalvis on the Wikimedia Commons

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