It used to be in lame duck sessions of any given legislature in this country, that’s when you had to worry about the knives coming out from the anti-gun forces. It was a great time to get a controversial gun control bill through when the consequences has already been decided in the previous election. New Jersey, particularly, is famous for lame duck anti-gun bills. Now it seems that we’re going the opposite direction in Ohio:
One bill, Senate Bill 239, would allow permit holders to carry concealed guns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It also would loosen restrictions on how guns must be carried in vehicles. It was opposed by a number of major state law-enforcement associations, but Gov. Ted Strickland said this summer that he would sign it.
The other, Senate Bill 247, would allow people with certain misdemeanor drug convictions to carry guns.
SB 247 is being mischaracterizeÂ here, and has more to do with prohibited persons under Ohio law than it does with carry in particular. Currently any drug conviction at all makes you a prohibited person, not just for carry, but for possession as well. This would up the requirement so that the drug conviction would have to be a felony. The bill would still prohibit someone who is an unlawful user or dependent on drugs or alcohol from possessing or carrying a firearm. The bill only gives relief to someone who is denied because they may have had a misdemeanor drug conviction in their past. The bill also changes the application for relief from disability somewhat, presumably to cover someone who may have been adjudicated an addict or drunkard, but who has gotten clean.
But it’s interesting that now we’re running pro-gun stuff in lame duck legislatures rather than the other way around.