Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed a new concealed-carry law that allows people to carry concealed firearms without a permit or training, which may have implications for law enforcement.
The law allows anyone over the age of 21 to carry a firearm without a permit as long as they are not prohibited from owning a gun by state or federal law.
It also states that drivers do not need to proactively inform law enforcement that they are carrying a concealed handgun during a traffic stop.
However, if an officer asks whether they are carrying a gun, drivers are obliged to answer truthfully.
According to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, the law will make Ohio the 23rd state to greenlight constitutional carry.
“NRA thanks Gov. DeWine for signing this critical bill that upholds the Second Amendment in Ohio for the benefit of law-abiding citizens,” the NRA said in a statement.
The Republican-backed legislation will go into effect in 90 days. Currently, Ohio requires applicants to obtain a conceal-carry permit that requires eight hours of training and a background check.
Under current law, if drivers fail to proactively tell a police officer that they are armed, they can be penalized with a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail in addition to a $1,000 dollar fine.
While supporters of the bill praise its upholding of constitutional rights, Democrats argue it will endanger Ohioans and law enforcement.
“This bill will make all Ohioans less safe. Time and again, DeWine has promised to support law enforcement officers and ‘do something’ to combat gun violence in our state,” Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters said in a statement. “Once again, he’s failed on both fronts, putting his own political interests over the safety and well-being of his constituents.”
Law enforcement groups such as the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, as well as Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey, opposed the bill.
The Ohio Mayors Alliance argued that the bill would make police officers less safe.
“Passing Senate Bill 215 and repealing Ohio’s concealed carry permitting law is another dangerous step in the wrong direction, and it is a serious threat to public safety in our communities,” the Ohio Mayors Alliance Board of Directors wrote in a statement. “Our bipartisan coalition of mayors has stood with law enforcement groups in opposition to this bill because we know it will make our police officers less safe, it will increase gun violence in our communities and it recklessly blurs the line between criminals with guns and properly licensed gun owners.”