Thanks to the efforts of Ohioans For Concealed Carry and its members and supporters, the scheduled vote for SB305 has been postponed until the next Ohio House Session to be held on June 12th and OFCC requested amendments are expected thanks to the bill’s sponsor and Governor Kasich’s office.
On Wednesday OFCC Directors Gary Witt and Doug Deeken gave opposition testimony and formally presented the committee with our compelling video that demonstrates how drug residue is virtually everywhere. Nearly two hours of questioning these two gentlemen and an OFCC member in attendance followed before the committee voted 7-3 to send the bill to the House floor for a vote.
Following that committee hearing Ohioans For Concealed Carry worked aggressively to reach out to the various "NO" votes and friends in the legislature. One such friend of gun owners is Representative Cliff Rosenberger (R-86), who spearheaded the movement to rally “NO” votes through a 10pm caucus meeting. Words alone cannot describe how devoted to our cause Representative Rosenberger demonstrated he is Wednesday night.
Late Wednesday night Ohioans For Concealed Carry delivered a memo to all ninety-nine members of the House of Representatives asking them to either vote against SB305 or work with us to adopt an amendment that would better define "drug residue". That letter can be read here.
On Thursday morning shortly before the 1:30pm session Representative Rosenberger advised Ohioans For Concealed Carry that he had arranged for SB305 to be removed from the House of Representatives agenda. Those of you who called relentlessly had successfully convinced enough of your elected officials to question the unintended consequences of SB305 – YOU literally stopped fast track legislation.
Following a meeting between OFCC Director Gary Witt and officials at the Statehouse on May 24, SB305 (the "hidden compartment" bill) will soon be amended to address some of our most serious concerns. OFCC wishes to thank Gov. John Kasich and SB305 sponsor Sen. Jim Hughes for taking the time to address the continuing concerns of those who have written, called, and testified about the perils of the hidden compartment bill.
Changes we expect to see introduced in the form of an amendment to SB305's language are shown below. Text that is struck out will be deleted by the amendment, while underlined text will be added:
"This section does not apply to a box, safe, container, or other item added to a vehicle which is commercially manufactured and advertised for the purpose of securing valuables, electronics, or firearms provided that at the time of discovery the box, safe, container or other item added to the vehicle does not contain a controlled substance or visible residue of a controlled substance."
To allow time to process these changes, Thursday's scheduled vote on SB305 was postponed until the next session of the Ohio House of Representatives on June 12.
It is not Ohioans For Concealed Carry's position to endorse a bill whose primary purpose is to contribute to the enforcement of drug trafficking laws. However, in light of efforts to address our most pressing concerns over the potential for unintended consequences, we will stop objecting to SB305 when these amendments are adopted by the Ohio House of Representatives.