Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ohio's Sen. Rob Portman aims for universal concealed-carry reciprocity

The fact that his proposed universal concealed carry allowance has little to no chance of passage in the U.S. Senate and (much) less than that before the Obama Administration is not deterring Rob Portman from pressing on anyway.

Republican Portman – Ohio's junior U.S. Senator – again is trying to convince his colleagues to support his Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. The 2014 version will enter the Senate's elaborate debate and vote system while all previous ones were tucked away without passage by a reluctant Senate.

As proposed by the bill's original sponsor Texas Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn, the measure (if enacted, which it won't but is still worth trying) would allow individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those same rights in any other state that also has concealed carry laws.

Portman is a co-sponsor of the measure.

Since every state now allows some form of concealed carry that means the right to do so would be universal throughout the country in some form or another.

Portman says such an allowance would thus “treat state-issued concealed-carry permits like drivers' licenses.”
“I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment and remain committed to protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” Portman says. “This important legislation will allow the nearly 250,000 Ohioans with concealed carry privileges to exercise that same privilege in other states that likewise allow concealed carry.”

Among the opponents' contrary arguments is that some states permit concealed carry with no system of licensing, background checks or testing.

Meanwhile, other states – among them being Ohio – insist that applicants first must attend a several-hour training course, prove minimum proficiency at shooting on a range, undergo a background check, be photographed and fingerprinted and issued a renewable-required permit by a county sheriff.

Now-retired U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich cited this disparity as his reason for opposing a similar reciprocity proposal when he was a serving senator a few years back.

Proponents counter by saying that the patchwork quilt of concealed-carry laws is sown together so haphazardly that traveling gun owners are always potentially in danger of unintentionally violating a law.

And in the House last year a reciprocity bill along the lines of Portman's co-sponsored Senate proposal passed on a bi-partisan vote of 272 to 154.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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