At the close of 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law (S.B. 199) that greatly expands the provisions of Ohio’s Concealed Carry legislation. The language of the expansion to the law now allows for employees to store their licensed handguns in vehicles owned by their employers.
The new law also addresses employer liability for any firearm related incidents arising out of the new expansion. The new concealed carry law also increased the number of previously prohibited places a holder of a license may bring their handgun. Finally, the new law eliminated the need for active duty military members to obtain a license before carrying a concealed handgun.
Firearms in Employee Vehicles
Under the new law, employers may no longer prohibit employees with valid concealed handgun licenses from transporting or storing a firearm on employer property so long as the following conditions are met:
- Each firearm remains inside the employee’s vehicle, while the employee is present, or each firearm is locked within the trunk, glove box, or other closed compartment; and
- The vehicle is an authorized location.
Senate Bill 199 also includes specific language explaining that employers will not be held liable for damages (such as injuries) resulting from an employee’s storage or transportation of a firearm, unless the employer asked the employee to commit an act that caused any damage.
PREVIOUSLY PROHIBITED PLACES WHERE CONCEALED CARRY IS NOW PERMITTED
The new law has also increased the number of places where a person may bring a concealed carry handgun or allows for certain organizations and institutions to determine for themselves whether to allow for concealed handguns to be permitted on the premises.
- Concealed firearms are now allowed in day care centers. Note, however, that private daycares and other businesses may post a sign prohibiting weapons. It is a misdemeanor (criminal trespass) to bring a weapon into these posted businesses.
- Aircraft and public areas of airport terminals before security checkpoints. Note, however, that an airport may post a sign prohibiting weapons in its terminals. It is a misdemeanor (criminal trespass) to bring a weapon into these posted areas.
- Public and private colleges and universities now have the option to allow concealed carry firearms on campus.
- State and political subdivisions now have the ability to enact laws that would allow concealed carry firearms in certain government facilities.
ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PROVISION
Finally, the new allows for active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces to forgo a concealed carry license in order to carry a firearm if the member is carrying valid military identification and has documentation of successful completion of specified firearms training.
The new law will go into effect in Ohio on March 21, 2017