It has come to my attention that the recent positive changes in Ohio's firearms laws (HB 234) have introduced an unintended consequence that will negatively affect hundreds of thousands of Ohio's citizens for the next several years.
As of March 23, 2015, the effective date of HB 234, all background checks performed when applying for a new or renewal Concealed Handgun License (CHL) will include a NICS check. As you know, NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) is the background check system used by Federal Firearm Licensed dealers for approving a firearm sale.
The benefit of including a NICS check in Ohio's CHL system is to gain concealed carry reciprocity with states that require a NICS check for their own licensing, such as Texas. In fact, on April 28, 2015, Texas signed a reciprocity agreement with Ohio (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl...oclamation.pdf
) stating that Texas will recognize Ohio CHL's that are issued on or after March 23, 2015.
Therein lies the problem.
An Ohio CHL is valid for five years from the date of issue. Ohio law does not allow a sheriff to renew a CHL earlier than 90 days prior to the expiration date on the license.
What this means is that law-abiding, background-checked citizens of Ohio who have received new or renewed CHL's as late as March 22, 2015 WILL BE DENIED RECIPROCITY FOR UP TO FIVE YEARS !! This will apply to ANY state that grants Ohio reciprocity based on the inclusion of the NICS check.
Several CHL holders have expressed a desire to add the NICS check to their current license, but there is no available process to accomplish this. Sheriffs, by law, cannot "renew" a license early. While they CAN re-issue a lost or destroyed license for a fee of $15, there is no background check required for a replacement.
I would like to suggest the introduction of a bill that would allow for an "interim CHL renewal".
This would allow a sheriff to renew a currently valid CHL upon successful completion of a NICS check.
A replacement license currently costs $15. I would suggest a fee of $20 for an interim CHL renewal. NICS is a very inexpensive and very fast ("Instant") process.
As the citizens requesting such an interim CHL renewal are actively requesting and submitting themselves to an ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND CHECK, I cannot comprehend any resistance to such a bill.
Also, it would mean more income for a sheriff's CHL department for minimal effort. This should be appealing for them, but I anticipate some may demand a higher fee.
If I can provide more information, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you !!