The Ohio House of Representatives is expected to begin action on a "Right to Carry" bill during the week of June 2nd, 1997. A battle is waging to determine if this will be another, "gun owner registration / permit scheme" or a true "right to carry / right to self-defense bill". The Ohio Constitution Defense Council (OCDC) has worked diligently to craft a bill which would establish the absolute right of law-abiding Ohioans to carry concealed weapons for self-defense. We seek to avoid the pitfalls of most other concealed carry proposals which require a permit, thereby: registering gun owners, establishing prohibitive fees, requiring fingerprinting, creating life-threatening delays, and asserting "right to carry" is not a right, but rather a privilege.

State Representative Lynn R. Watchman has agreed to sponsor the bill crafted by OCDC. This bill is referred to as the "prudent person self defense bill". This bill will establish by law, an absolute right to carry, provided the individual meets the following criteria:

  1. The person is not otherwise prohibited from possesssing the firearm.
  2. The individual is in possession of a valid photo I.D. at the time, and
  3. The individual has some evidence of firearms familiarity, such as:

This approach to firearms safety familiarity prevents any state bureacracy from monopolizing and therefore controlling / restricting access to acceptable training.

Your help is needed! The National Rifle Association's (NRA) Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) has crafted a bill which would require a permit. This creates the pitfalls mentioned earlier. It will also prohibit the issuance of a permit to anyone: three or more payments behind in child support, convicted of three or more DUI's, or ever convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence or domestic violence. State Representative Joy Padgett (R-95th Dist.) is the likely sponsor of this proposal. The OCDC, including three NRA board of directors members from Ohio, (Mike Beko, Sally Brodbeck and Jim Ramm, who are on the OCDC board) does not believe Ohioans need to be subjected to the bureaucratic nightmares contained in Rep. Padgett's proposal. We believe we have in Ohio, the opportunity to pass better self defense legislation than has passed in other states. We believe it is absolutely essential we not compromise "the right of self defense" to a "privelege" status.

You can help yourself and other Ohioans by calling: Representative Joy Padgett, at: (614) 622-1527, Representative Bill Batchelder (Speaker Pro Tem) at: (330) 725-666 and Representative Lynn Watchman at (614) 466-3760. Please tell them we want them to support the "prudent person self defense bill" sponsored by Rep. Watchman. We do not want or need a "permit law" in Ohio. It is our understanding, Rep. Batchelder and his collegues will decide early the week of June 2nd, what type of self defense bill they will support. I urge you to call these Representatives as well as your own representative, and urge they support the "prudent person self defense bill" sponsored by Rep. Watchman. Please call now!!

You are also encouraged to call Randy Kozuch, Director of state and local affairs for the NRA, ILA at: (703) 267-1202. Tell him you are from Ohio, and you insist ILA support Rep. Watchman's bill and oppose any permit schemes in Ohio. If you are a member of the NRA, please be sure to mention that.

The Ohio Constitution Defense Council has been working for over six months to craft and have introduced a self defense bill which does not subject Ohioans to the hazards contained in permit schemes. Now it is up to all Ohioans who want a true "right to self defense law" passed in Ohio to do their part by contacting their representatives in the Ohio House of Representatives. We can do this, but, we need your help!


The Ohio Constitution Defense Council
(216) 365-3006