Senate Passes Bill Allowing Concealed Carry Of Guns In Restaurants

Posted on behalf of Cox Law Office, LLC.

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Right now it’s illegal to carry a concealed weapon into an Ohio restaurant, but that could soon change.

“My initial reaction is it opens up a can of worms,” said Stewart Miller, a restaurant general manager in the Arena District. “This is going to be just one more thing we have to manage.”

Miller also said he’s frustrated that lawmakers are changing the law without listening to the businesses it will affect, ONN’s Jim Heath reported on Thursday.

“Who did they talk to to start thinking this is something we should be spending time on?” Miller said. “Who did they listen to that said that’s probably a good idea?”

Others said it is time for the law to change.

“If you look at all the surrounding states of Ohio none of them restrict carry in a car and none of them restrict carry in a restaurant. So it’s a change that is well past due,” said Ken Hanson, spokesman for the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Hanson has been lobbying for the bill for more than a year. It has the strong support of the National Rifle Association and Ohioans for Concealed Carry.

Supporters also include Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.

“We don’t have Democrats, we don’t have Republicans. We have pro-gun legislators and a pro-gun governor.  I’m confident we can deliver this to the governor in an appropriate bill and get his signature,” Hanson said.

However, that isn’t sitting well with the state’s largest police union.

“I am kind of appalled that they keep coming back to these issues,” said Mark Dunn, spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police. “It just comes down to the fact that these are absolutely huge safety issues for law enforcement everywhere.”

Miller said it may cost businesses too.

“You’re talking an extra $300 to $500 a week we might have to employ somebody to stand around and look and watch,” Miller said.

The Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association also oppose the bill.

If the bill becomes law, you cannot drink alcohol in a restaurant while carrying a concealed weapon.

The bill also reduces restrictions on how a gun owner must transport firearms in a car.

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