Major changes made to gun bills

Guns. Getty Images

State lawmakers on Thursday retreated from a plan to dramatically expand where Ohioans with concealed carry weapons permits are be allowed to take their firearms.

Close to midnight, the Ohio House voted 68-25 in favor of a revamped gun bill that ditched a plan to take away local government control when it comes to prohibiting guns in libraries, city halls, recreation centers and other public buildings.

Senate Bill 199 — which still awaited final approval from senators after midnight — morphed together several changes, including:

— Allowing CCW permitholders to carry weapons on college campuses, provided the school trustees approved it;

— Letting active duty military members to carry concealed weapons without permits provided they have military ID and proof that they successfully completed firearms training;

— Barring employers from prohibiting their workers with CCW permits from storing firearms in their vehicles.

Earlier this week, the Ohio Senate changed House Bill 48 to allow CCW permitholders to carry their weapons into any state or local government facility that lacked security checkpoints. Local governments objected to losing control and the expense of adding security to buildings, if they wanted to keep weapons out.

And the Ohio House changed Senate Bill 199 to include CCW permitholders as a “protected class” under civil rights laws, to shield them from discrimination. That provision was backed gun rights advocates but opposed by big business groups.

Instead of granting CCW holders protected class status, their bosses won’t be allowed to enforce a policy to prohibits workers from storing guns in their cars at work.

And local governments will retain the authority to post stickers on building doors saying weapons are prohibited on the premises.

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