Ohio legislators override veto of vehicle-firearm bill

| 12/22/2006

Lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate have overridden a veto from Gov. Bob Taft to alter the state’s gun-carrying law, specifically in vehicles. It marks the first time in 20 years the Legislature has rejected a gubernatorial veto.

The Senate voted 21-12 to override the veto of a bill that will supersede local gun ordinances and make the concealed carry law uniform throughout the state. The House vote was 57-14.

Taft, who leaves office in a couple of weeks, said the gun bill – HB347 – pre-empts about 80 local gun laws, including assault-weapons bans in such cities as Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. Others say it takes away cities’ constitutional rights to self-govern.

Supporters of the bill say it doesn’t make sense to have contradictory gun laws across the state. They also said the changes would bring Ohio in line with nearly every other state with a concealed carry gun law.

The bill allows truckers and other drivers with permits to carry handguns in holsters, purses, glove compartments or closed cases when pulled over by law enforcement rather than display them in plain view, The Toledo Blade reported.

It also increases penalties for armed drivers who fail to promptly notify police that a loaded handgun is in the vehicle.

Sheriffs will be able to deny permits to people with sealed or expunged convictions or prior permit suspensions.

The new law is scheduled to take effect in March 2007.