According to Mike Weinman, a retired Columbus, Ohio police officer who now lobbies for the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, violent crime is declining. So what makes him and brothers in the FOP so worried? The answer is several new bills being proposed in the Ohio legislature that deal with the carrying of concealed firearms.
Amongst the various proposed bills are three that are causing the primary concern and controversy. One proposes to reduce the training time required for a concealed carry license (CCL) from 12 hours to just 8, a full quarter reduction. Another would permit nonresidents to acquire an Ohio CCL if they work in Ohio. The third would recognize CCLs from other states, regardless of the training requirements of those states, even if they are lower.
Gun support is at an unprecedented level right now with the gun lobby enjoying a large majority in the legislature. They are very confident about their ability to pass these bills and have worked to get as many as possible set to run through that feather-tipped gauntlet. Weinman is worried that Ohio is essentially deciding to let other states decided who can carry in their state for them.
In the end, there are supporters and detractors on both sides and undecideds in between, and although the bills look to have a smooth path ahead of them, the controversy will surely be debated heatedly throughout.