COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Several gun bills are making their way through the legislature this fall including one that would allow off duty peace officers to carry their weapons into gun free zones.
House Bill 253 would remove the requirement for off-duty law enforcement to adhere to posted no-gun zones while they are off the clock.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Larry Householder and Rep. Laura Lanese had its first hearing before the House Federalism and Interstate Relations committee on Tuesday.
Opponents of the bill will be offered an opportunity to testify against it in the future.
That same day, the committee dealt with two other gun bills.
House Bill 79 had its third hearing and was passed unanimously out of the committee and sent to the House floor for a vote there.
The bill allows medical professionals who have been trained tactically at the police academy to carry guns into a SWAT situation.
Representatives Wes Retherford and Christina Hagan are sponsoring this bill.
Retherford says, arming the medics frees up the officers to continue to deal with the situation at hand. If the bill passes Retherford says the medics will be able to aid the injured without needing an officer to protect them while they do it.
House Bill 142 sponsored by Rep. Scott Wiggam was on its fifth hearing when Representative Glenn Holmes put forward a substitute piece of legislation and became a co-sponsor to the bill.
The original HB 142 allowed for carry concealed permit holders to withhold that information from a police officer if they are pulled over, and eliminated the penalty for doing so.
The new bill is an about face on that stance.
Now, the bill makes it mandatory that a person carrying a concealed weapon not only tell the officer they have the permit to do so and that they are armed, but to present the permit at the time they are asked for their license and registration.
Representative Holmes says the police officers will appreciate being notified of this, and it will help prevent tragedies like what occurred in Minnesota with Philando Castile.
The new bill also adds an incentive to notifying the officer; failing to do so comes with a $25 fine if they are caught.