Ohio House proposes changes to state's conceal carry law to people's mixed emotions

OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - Since going into effect 15 years ago Ohio's concealed carry law has seen its share of amendments. Now those in the Ohio House are proposing more changes, and it's drawing mixed reviews.

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"I get what they're doing," said general manager of Towers Armory Tim Hensley.

"I'm not in favor of it," added Oregon's police chief Mike Navarre.

Under House Bill 174 anyone 21 and older would be able to carry a concealed gun without a license or training. People would also be able to carry more than just handguns, including rifles and shotguns. Background checks would still apply and those with felonies would automatically be disqualified.

"They're trying to make it a little bit easier for those who can't afford the training," said Hensley of the bill.

Under current state law, Ohioans can conceal carry after completing training, getting a license and passing a background check.

At Towers Armory in Oregon, workers support gun owners' rights but believe proper training is key.

"Training and education are really what puts people in the right frame of mind to use a firearm," said Hensley.

With proper training Hensley says the chance of accidents diminishes, and he thinks responsible gun owners will still seek it out regardless of changes.

"No matter what you do you have to know what you're doing with it," said Hensley.

Also under House Bill 174 drivers would no longer have to notify officers about carrying a gun during a traffic stop.

"It's in everyone's best interest that the law enforcement officer knows when they're dealing with someone that's carrying a gun," said Navarre.

Oregon's top cop says eliminating the requirement would make things dangerous and leave room for too much to go wrong.

"We don't want a situation where an officer perceives a threat that doesn't exist and ends up responding to that 'threat,'" said Navarre.

If the bill passes the rules would only apply in Ohio. If you crossed state lines the home state's respective conceal carry laws would take effect.