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Concealed Carry Debate

In response to a challenge filed in Hamilton County, five of the court's seven justices upheld the ban on carrying concealed weapons. The Ohio legislature has passed several bills allowing concealed weapons for years, but Gov. Bob Taft, and his predecessor, George Voinovich, have refused to sign the bills without the support of police organizations.

The Ohio Highway Patrol has opposed nearly every bill approved by the legislature ok'ing a concealed carry provision. However, the Buckeye State Sheriff's Association supports a provision in which people would have to register to carry a concealed weapon.

"If you have been convicted, for instance, of a felony, and you shouldn't carry (a gun) into a place that serves alcohol. There are a number of restrictions that should be placed on it, but I believe it should be legal to carry a permit," says Larry Mincks.

West Virginia residents have been able for years to register for a permit to carry concealed weapons. Mincks believes an Ohio law would include a similar type of provision.

The court's two dissenting justices believe the legislature can find a way to resolve the issue. Conflicting versions of House and Senate bills at last report remained unresolved in committees. A spokesman for the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence told the Associated Press the ruling shows the right to bear arms can only be regulated by legislators.


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