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Ohio legislators fail their constituents

DEAR EDITOR:

While the holiday season was underway in November and December, Ohio’s Republican legislators in both the House and the Senate were passing bills, HB 227 and SB 215, allowing gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit and eliminate the required eight-hour training class. It also eliminates the immediate notification to an officer that they are armed during a stop. The officer will have to ask first.

Despite the Ohio legislators saying they are following suit to similar legislation passed in neighboring West Virginia and Kentucky and it doesn’t change gun-purchasing laws, I ask what purpose does it serve other than putting police officers at more risk than they already are? When they claim that they are all for law and order, how do they then ignore the 82 people who testified against the bill in the Senate, including the Ohio Mayors Alliance and the Fraternal Order of the Police of Ohio?

In 2021, Ohio had a record-setting year of deaths from gun violence and related arrests. So how is this relaxing of the concealed-carry law a step in addressing the already serious gun problem?

When gun owners claim to be responsible in their safe using and storing of their weapons, how do they then defend an elimination of a minimum, eight-hour training class that informs carriers of the laws and safety of carrying a concealed weapon? We have all read stories of unintentional injuries and deaths caused by those carrying a concealed weapon.

While the Ohio House and Senate are working on differences in wording the bill for full passage of a bill to be signed by Gov. DeWine, must we sit back and watch another irresponsible and dangerous bill be passed? Again, this majority Republican legislature proves that along with some frivolous bills, the renaming of the area reservoir and potentially dangerous ones like the “stand your ground” bill, that they do not serve their residents well. Ohio is no longer a leader in education or infrastructure. We rank 43rd for population health. Why don’t they focus on prioritizing those important issues?

JUDITH PUSKAR

Masury

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