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Police Union Opposes Latest Ohio Bill To Loosen Concealed Carry Laws

Concealed carry
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The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio is opposing an Ohio bill, proposed by Republican state rep. Scott Wiggam, that would go easier on concealed-carry permit holders who fail to tell police they have a weapon while detained.

Currently, the failure to disclose is a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The proposal in the Ohio House, HB 142, would reduce the penalty would reduce that to just a $25 fine.

Jay McDonald, president of the FOP of Ohio, says officers should know whether a person they are approaching is armed. He added that there's no reason law-abiding citizens should withhold the fact that they are concealed weapon permit holders.

Gun rights groups are hoping lawmakers do away with the penalties entirely. Wiggam's bill is the latest in a string of proposals to expand concealed carry in Ohio, which included a bill that would decriminalizeviolating gun-free zones for concealed carry permit holders. Last year, Gov. John Kasich signed a law permitting colleges, day cares and government buildings to allow concealed weapons.

Last month, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio came out in support of a different proposal at the Statehouse, which would allow off-duty police officers to carry weapons into gun-free zones.

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.