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Guns May Be Allowed on College Campuses

Posted On: December 20th, 2016 by Bradley J. Groene

The November 28, 2016, attack at Ohio State University where a man ran a vehicle into a crowd of people and then attacked them with a knife reignited calls for an expansion in the areas where concealed weapons could be carried in Ohio. Those calls lead to swift action by the Ohio Legislature, and on December 19, 2016, Governor John Kasich signed legislation that allows for the possibility of concealed weapons to be carried on the campuses of Ohio’s public and private universities.

Passage of Senate Bill 199

The expansion of the areas where concealed weapons in could be carried in Ohio has been a legislative consideration for most of the legislature’s current term. However, after the Ohio State University attack, the issue became a focus of debate throughout Ohio. The Ohio Legislature worked quickly to combine portions of a bill that was under consideration in the Ohio House of Representative allowing for the possibility of concealed weapons on college campuses and other areas with portions of Senate Bill 199.

The amended Senate Bill 199 was put up for a vote in both houses of the Ohio Legislature on December 8, 2016. The legislation passed the Ohio House by a vote of 68 to 25 and passed the Ohio Senate by a margin of 22 to 8. Governor Kasich signed the bill on December 19, 2016- only three weeks after the Ohio State attack. The effective date of Senate Bill 199 has not yet been set, but it is believed that it will become effective during the first half of 2017.

Concealed Weapons on College Campuses Will be Allowed

Prior to the passage of Senate Bill 199 a concealed weapon permit in Ohio did not allow a permit holder to carry a weapon on the premises of any college or institution of higher learning in the state under any circumstance. The provisions of Senate Bill 199 will now allow for each college or institution of higher learning to adopt a written policy that would allow specific individuals or classes of individuals to carry a concealed weapon on the premises.

The new law will not immediately allow the carrying of concealed weapons on all college campuses throughout Ohio when it becomes effective. Instead, it will give colleges the opportunity to adopt rules regarding the allowable circumstances for carrying concealed weapons, or a particular college may choose to continue to ban the carrying of a concealed weapon on its campus.

Penalties for Concealed Weapons on College Campuses Greatly Reduced

The other significant feature of Senate Bill 199 is that it will reduce the penalty for the unauthorized carrying of a concealed handgun on a college campus from a felony down to a minor misdemeanor provided the person produces a valid concealed carry license within 10 days of the arrest. The degree of the penalty increases with each successive violation, but would still not reach the level of a felony even after three or more violations.

The change in penalties for the unauthorized carrying of a gun on a college campus could lead to a substantial increase in the number of guns on campus even if no institutions decide to allow them, as the first violation would carry a similar penalty to a speeding ticket.

How a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

The passage of Senate Bill 199 means that once it becomes effective colleges and universities in Ohio will be able to set up rules regarding carrying concealed weapons on their campuses. This could eventually lead to confusion as to what schools allow guns on campus and which ones do not. If you inadvertently violate the Ohio concealed carry laws on a college campus the first offense will be minor, but it could create an emotionally charged situation that leads to much more serious charges. If you’re faced with such a situation, you will need an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense attorney to defend you.

Attorney Brad Groene is a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer who has represented hundreds of clients over the years on a wide variety of charges and will work hard to provide you with the best possible defense. Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates to get the help that you need.

Call (513) 338-1890 to set up a free and confidential consultation.

Bradley Groene made an exceptionally difficult situation much easier to handle. He kept me informed of everything that was going to happen and got results for my case far better than I could have hoped for. I would highly recommend him for anyone who finds themselves in legal troubles.