CLEVELAND — It's a big day for gun-rights advocates in Ohio as the state's new gun law – Senate Bill 215 – takes effect.
It allows any legal gun owner to carry a concealed firearm without the permit and training that was previously required.
Also referred to by some as permitless carry and constitutional carry, the law also negates the requirement that legal gunowners – those 21 and older -- tell police officers they have a sidearm in the car during traffic stops. Law enforcement leaders have long opposed the provision because they believe it increase dangers interactions with motorists.
The changes have been on the wish list of gun-rights advocates for years.
“Overall, the support of the Second Amendment/constitutional carry is strong should have happened longtime ago,” Robert Euerle, president of Parma Armory Shooting, told 3News.
Euerle has some reservations.
“So, yes, it’s great to have constitutional carry, but I don’t think it is always great to just carry without education -- and that’s the hard part,” he said. “To come out and say, ‘I have a firearm, it’s in my glovebox, just so you know.’ That’s a really really important for officer safety.”
The law kicks in as state and national lawmakers debate gun issues amid mass shootings.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine pledged during his 2018 gubernatorial campaign to back a permitless carry bill.
But after 2019 mass shooting in Dayton that left 9 people dead, he promised to push for moderate gun reforms but failed to win support among fellow Republicans.
Nan Whaley, who was Dayton’s mayor during the shooting and is the Democratic candidate in this year’s race for governor, has been criticizing DeWine for easing gun restrictions.
"Never in my worst nightmare did I think the thing he would actually do would make it worst our cities are now less safe because of extreme radical agenda items," she said earlier this year during a primary debate.
Parma resident and gun owner Steven Wingler, who was at the Parma Armory Sunday, said he supports the new bill and still encourages people to get practice and training.
“Anywhere you can get appropriate practice and sharpen up is a necessity as a gun owner,” he said.