Governor DeWine Signs Permitless Carry Into Law, Ignoring Staunch Opposition from Law Enforcement, Constituents, Public Safety Experts
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Volunteers, Law Enforcement, Public Safety Advocates, Local Leaders all Spoke Out and Called on Governor DeWine to Veto
The Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed SB215, dangerous permitless carry legislation that would eliminate Ohio’s permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public. Governor DeWine signed the bill despite widespread and vocal opposition from law enforcement across Ohio, local leaders, public safety advocates, and faith leaders.
“Today, Governor DeWine sided with the gun lobby over public safety, over the safety of Ohio’s law enforcement officers who work every day to protect our communities,” said Kristine Woodworth, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our state has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, and today we lost one of the last foundational public safety measures on the books – for no reason other than to satisfy the gun lobby. We will hold our leaders accountable come November.”
“By signing this bill into law, Governor DeWine has made it clear he prioritizes the interests of the gun lobby over law enforcement and public safety advocates from across the state,” said Cordelia Van der Veer, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Ohio. “Law enforcement agrees – permitless carry will not make our state safer, it will do the opposite, and Governor Dewine signed this bill into law anyways. We will hold him, and the Ohio legislature, accountable for this blatant step backwards at the ballot box.”
Throughout the legislative process, law enforcement from across the state opposed permitless carry and raised clear concerns about the risks of this policy. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers joined the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Polices, the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, the Ohio Mayors Alliance, and others in providing testimony against the bill throughout the legislative process.
Gary Wolske, the President of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, said in an opinion piece in the Columbus Dispatch that permitless carry “…isn’t putting public safety first and it’s not putting public safety officers first.”
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action took significant action to call on lawmakers to reject permitless carry and to encourage Governor Mike DeWine to veto SB215. Volunteers sent over 3,300 emails and drove over 1,900 calls to lawmakers and the governor’s office.
Learn more about gun violence in Ohio here.