CCW holders can use permit as instant background check to buy guns

Ohio is now one of 25 states in which gun owners no longer will have to submit to additional background checks for gun purchases.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that federal officials have certified the Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) as a valid background check for firearm purchases.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) agreed with DeWine's request for an exemption to the mandatory National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The exemption was contingent on two things: that the Ohio concealed handgun license the person has was issued on or after March 23, 2015, and that the permit has not expired under state law or been revoked.

“I’m pleased Ohio concealed carry license holders will not have to undergo additional background checks each time they want to buy a firearm,” DeWine said in his announcement. “Ohio concealed carry license holders who are in good standing have already passed thorough state and federal background checks, so there is no reason to force them to submit to additional checks if they want to buy a firearm.”

The Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA), a pro-gun lobby in Ohio, was pleased that DeWine was able to get the issue resolved.

Jim Irvine, BFA board president, said, “This is the result of more than six years of work by BFA to improve and simplify background checks for Ohio gun owners”

House Bill 234 passed in December of 2014 and became law in March of 2015. That bill improved the background check and added disqualifications so that people who are not permitted to buy or possess firearms do not qualify for a CHL, according to Irvine.

Amanda Gillespie, assistant professor of Political Science at Miami University, said the issue is a win for the gun lobby, but amounts to “not much,” in terms of changing the landscape of what it takes to own a gun.

“I know there is a lot of talk about background checks, but there is really a lot of talk about whether or not they prevent crime,” Gillespie explained. “There is a lot of talk about mental illness, privacy and other things like that. So the question is how effective our they? This is a definite win for the gun lobby, but it is not overly controversial. There are 24 other states that have this law on their books.”

Premier Shooting & Training Center General Manager Jim Lentz and Tommie Rowland of the center, both are glad to see the feds approve DeWine’s request.

Lentz said safety is always a priority and following the rules to be able to purchase a firearm is one too. Rowland added that people are glad to have the red tape removed from people who are already legally able to purchase a firearm.

“Getting your CCW is a stricter gun background check regulation to go through, so that was put in place to cut down on illegal purchases,” Rowland said. “This a big improvement on how legal gun buyers can purchase a firearm.”

Mary Jones, 59, of Middletown, said the issue seems confusing and there should be ‘layers of filters in place,” when buying a firearm.

“This isn’t like buying furniture or a car or food,” she said. “Why make it easier?”

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