In a significant legislative move on Feb. 28, the Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 148, a proposal put forward by State Senator Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), aimed at safeguarding rights of firearm owners and retailers in Ohio against financial discrimination, while upholding sanctity of the Second Amendment rights.

This bill sets a precedent by implementing several key protections:

  1. Financial Fairness for Firearms Purchases: Senate Bill 148 ensures financial institutions cannot discriminate against firearms retailers using a unique firearms code for retail transactions. This measure prevents the differentiation between firearms retailers and other types of retailers in financial transactions.
  2. Prohibition of Transaction Denials Based on Firearm Codes: The bill strictly prohibits financial institutions from refusing payment card transactions with firearms dealers solely because the transaction carries a firearms code.
  3. Privacy and Protection Against Government Overreach: It outlaws an form of government list or registry pertaining to firearms or firearm owners, preserving individual privacy and freedom.
  4. Enforcement and Legal Recourse: The Ohio Attorney General is empowered to investigate alleged violations of these rules and can take civil action against those who infringe upon them.

The bill is a direct response to initiatives by the International Organization for Standardization that introduced a new merchant code for firearms retailers, which would enable undue tracking and discrimination against lawful firearm purchases.

SB 148 now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration.

Ohioans Apply for More Than 15,000 New Concealed Carry Permits in 2023

In parallel, Ohio has witnessed a notable trend in concealed handgun licensing. Despite the state no longer requiring concealed carry permits as of June 13, 2022, more than 15,000 new permits were issued in 2023. This information comes from a comprehensive report by The Center Square which also noted a total of 90,582 permits were issued last year, including both new issues and renewals.

The persistence of the concealed carry permit system, even amid regulatory changes, underscores the value Ohioans place on responsible gun ownership and their right to carry. Attorney General Dave Yost’s annual report showed an impressive tally: 15,581 new licenses and 75,001 renewals in 2023, affirming the system’s robustness and the community’s commitment to legal firearm possession.

Furthermore, a study conducted by the Attorney General’s Office and the Center for Justice Research at Bowling Green State University has dispelled concerns that the new constitutional carry law would escalate violent crime rates. Contrary to apprehensions, the study found related crimes actually decreased in Ohio’s major cities in the year following the law’s implementation, with notable reductions in several cities, including a 22% drop in Parma.  Columbus gun crimes fell from 10.79 per 1,000 crime incidents to 9.55.

How AimHi Can Help

AimHi Family Firearms Center stands firmly behind these legislative and societal developments that reinforce our rights and safety as responsible gun owners. We understand the complexities surrounding gun legislation and the importance of staying informed on laws that impact our community.

For any questions regarding the latest Ohio gun laws or details on obtaining or renewing a concealed carry permit, including classes, our knowledgeable AimHi staff are here to assist you.

Connect with us today for the firearm-related resources and support you need to navigate these changes confidently!