COLUMBUS — State Rep. Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) and the Ohio House of Representatives yesterday passed House Bill 425, known as the Duty to Notify Law. The legislation clarifies language to undo severe penalties and simultaneously protect concealed handgun license holders across the state.
“This legislation eliminates confusion and ensures Ohioans do not receive harsh penalties for practicing their Second Amendment rights,” said Manchester, who co-sponsored the legislation.
Currently, concealed carry licensees must do the following when stopped by law enforcement:
· Display their concealed carry license or other documents showing that they are a qualified military member authorized to carry;
· Under the bill, verbal notification is also permitted;
· Display their driver’s license or state ID card; and
· Disclose they are carrying a handgun.
Current law states that a licensee must notify law enforcement “promptly” of these things, which is vague and can cause confusion. House Bill 425 clarifies that an individual must only notify if the officer asks if they are carrying a firearm.
In addition, current law has a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. House Bill 425 removes the penalty for violating duty to notify, but an individual is still required by law to comply with an officer’s order.
This bill also takes away reasons to unnecessarily charge law-abiding Ohioans. For example, if someone doesn’t “promptly” notify the officer, they can be additionally charged with failure to comply with an officer, leading to further unintended incidents that could have been prevented.
“Ohio has the most severe penalty in the nation for violating the duty to notify,” added Manchester. “House Bill 425 is a step in the right direction in protecting law-abiding citizens from excessive charges.”
The legislation now heads to the Senate for further action.