Three weeks after a student plowed a car into a crowd at Ohio State University and attacked people with a butcher knife, Governor John Kasich signed a bill that dramatically expands the number of places people with conceal carry licenses can bring firearms.
The new law, which takes effect in 90 days, lifts a blanket ban on carrying firearms on college campuses and into daycares, part of airport terminals, and government buildings. It also requires that businesses allow employees to stash their weapons in their vehicles while at work.
The legislation marks the most significant expansion of gun-carrying rights in the U.S. since September, when the Missouri legislature enacted a “stand your ground” law and a measure allowing people to carry concealed guns in public without a permit. In August, Texas implemented a law extending gun rights to colleges campuses.
Since taking office in 2011, the governor has not vetoed a single pro-gun bill passed by the legislature.
The legislation was born in the middle of the night. At 3:10 a.m., on December 9, Ohio state lawmakers scrambled to pass a series of gun measures that had variously been opposed by the state police chiefs association and the chamber of commerce. As The Trace reported last week, one bill, in its original form, sought to extend civil rights protections to workers with concealed carry permits who want to leave their guns in their cars while at work.
The civil rights provisions were dropped, but a version that would still make illegal for employers to ban guns from their parking lots survived. An investigation published by The Trace earlier this year found that the number of guns stolen from parked cars in many cities is on the rise.
Boy, Donald Trump would never sign such a reasonably moderate bill!