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Another win for sanity and common sense? We’ll soon find out.

The Ohio House of Representatives has just passed a bill that would decriminalize gun possession by concealed carry permit holders in so-called “Gun Free” Zones.

Termed the Decriminalization Effort for Ending Notorious Deaths Act by its sponsor, HB 233 states that members of the military or those with a carry permit would not be guilty of violating most areas deemed gun-free. The measure passed in a Republican-heavy 65-31 vote on Thursday.

“The bill decriminalizes so-called ‘gun free’ zones for concealed handgun license holders,” said bill sponsor, Rep. John Becker, R-Clermont.

The proposal’s language protects CHL holders and military members found carrying a weapon in a gun-free zone from arrest and prohibits law enforcement from seizing their guns or ammunition. However, if asked to leave they must comply under threat of a fourth-degree misdemeanor criminal trespass charge, which can result in 30 days in jail and fines of up to $250.

The bill also removes daycares from the list of places that must post gun-free zone signs and modifies posting requirements for airports and government buildings, as well as decriminalizes carrying firearms into a liquor establishment.

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The bill easily passed through the House and should pass the Senate even more easily because the GOP majority is even stronger there. The real question is, will Governor John Kasich (R-OH) sign the bill into law? Kasich is a self-avowed gun rights supporter and has been endorsed and supported by the NRA and other gun rights groups for years. However, in recent days Kasich has shifted to the center on many other issues, and there is some concern that the might veto this latest attempt to reinforce the rights of Ohio citizens.

 

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