FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2022
On Wednesday the 9th of February, 2022, in a meeting at Doc’s in Lebanon, the Libertarian Party of Warren County Ohio passed a resolution supporting Ohio Senate Bill 215 (“Ohio SB215”), a bill commonly referred to as “Constitutional Carry.” This bill has passed the Ohio Senate and is currently in the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee for hearings.
By unanimous vote, Libertarian Party of Warren County strongly advocates for the passage of Ohio SB215, as it advances liberty in the following ways:
- It allows qualifying adults to carry handguns without a concealed handgun license.
- It removes the duty of a concealed handgun carrier to volunteer that they are carrying to law enforcement when stopped.
- It prevents law enforcement from using legal concealed carry as grounds for search, seizure, or detention of any sort.
However, we believe that the term “Constitutional Carry” overstates what Ohio SB215 would accomplish. While the bill is a positive step in the direction of liberty, it is only a single step in that direction. As Libertarians, we advocate for removing further barriers preventing Ohioans from exercising a fundamental natural right that is recognized by the US Constitution. The following barriers are not addressed by Ohio SB215 and should be included in further legislation:
- The Ohio code of law treats the exercise of gun rights as exceptions to the State’s authority and restrictions. The code should be simplified, beginning with the presumption that all people hold this right by default.
- Remove unnecessary restrictions on where guns may be carried while continuing to reserve property rights. Business and property owners can continue to provide clear indications if they wish to prevent weapons from being carried in their businesses or on their property.
- Remove tight restrictions on what weapons may be carried in a concealed fashion. People should be allowed to carry a wide variety of weapons.
- Lower the concealed carry age of 21 to 18. Adults aged 18 to 20 can serve in the military and are tried as adults in court. Young adults should not be denied their rights.
- Remove the restriction that prevents an armed person from providing transportation to somebody who is intoxicated in their vehicle. Being a designated driver should not result in being denied a fundamental natural right.
- Finally, remove a host restrictions preventing many adults from carrying concealed for the following reasons:
- Use of marijuana and other substances in a fashion that is legal in Ohio
- Having historic drug offenses and other charges where sentences have been completed
- Suffering from mental illnesses defined in an unnecessarily broad fashion
- Being dishonorably discharged from the military. Dishonorable discharges are often the result of actions of a military member that would not be a crime in the civilian world.
In summary, the Libertarian Party of Warren County supports Ohio SB215 and would like to see it passed. We believe that it fails to provide everything that the term “Constitutional Carry” would imply, but we would support legislation that takes further steps in that direction. The full text of Ohio SB215 is publicly available here.
The Libertarian Party of Warren County is the alternative party in the county and welcomes all!