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Ohio Senate votes to allow hunters to use silencers; cuts CCW training hours

Our statehouse bureau reporter Laura Bischoff just filed this report:

The Ohio Senate voted 24-6 on Tuesday in favor of legalizing the use of noise suppressors – silencers – when hunting birds and game and making changes to the state’s concealed carry weapons law to reduce the required training hours and beef up the background check.

Doug Deeken of Ohioans for Concealed Carry said hunters must either use hearing protection or noise suppressors when hunting squirrels or other small birds or game. Allowing silencers will make it easier to hunt without wearing hearing protection, he said.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry and the Buckeye Firearms Association supported the changes the bill makes to the CCW law, which initially took effect 10 years ago. Training hours will drop to eight hours from 12 and still require two hours of range time and it will require a national background check for everyone seeking permits, rather than just a state background check for long-time Ohio residents. It also allows people who live out-of-state but work in Ohio to be eligible to apply for an Ohio CCW permit.

The bill also eliminates defining a machine gun as anything that fires 31 or more rounds without re-loading since Ohio is the only state that has such a definition, Deeken said.

The bill does not address ‘stand your ground’ or ‘duty to retreat’ provisions. Deeken said gun rights groups will seek those changes next year. “We will bring it up again. We will ask politely. We’ll give good solid testimony on why it’s necessary,” Deeken said. “We’re not giving up on that fight at all.”

In 2013, county sheriffs issued 145,342 CCW licenses – 96,927 new ones and 48,370 renewals. Renewals and new CCW permits in 2013 were 4,584 in Butler, 913 in Champaign, 1,386 in Clark, 1,399 in Darke, 3,219 in Greene, 1,431 in Miami, 7,151 in Montgomery, 1,119 in Preble and 1,573 in Warren counties.

State Sen. Nina Turner, D-Cleveland, said CCW training requirements shouldn’t be watered down and noise suppressors on guns could put hikers and nearby residents at risk. “I don’t understand why a hunter needs a silencer to shoot Bambi or shoot Tweety bird.”


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