GREENVILLE — Ohioans with a concealed handgun license (CHL) will no longer have to submit to additional background checks when purchasing firearms from a federally licensed dealer — though the change is not yet all-encompassing.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATFE) agreed to DeWine’s request for an exemption to the mandatory National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) provided the Ohio concealed handgun license was issued on or after March 23, 2015, and that the permit has not expired under state law or has been revoked.
“I’m pleased Ohio concealed carry license holders will not have to undergo additional background checks each time they want to buy a firearm,” said DeWine. “Ohio concealed carry license holders who are in good standing have already passed thorough state and federal background checks so there is no reason to force them to submit to additional checks if they want to buy a firearm.”
DeWine was able to work with BATFE to obtain this exemption following changes made by the Ohio General Assembly in House Bill 234 that required the use of the NICS for all new and renewed concealed handgun licenses.
Ohio is the 25th state to receive a NICS exemption for its concealed carry license holders.
The new regulation, however, does not affect all Ohio CHL holders. Only those with licenses issued on or after March 23, 2015, are NICS-compliant. Those issued permits before that date must wait until they renew their CHL for their license to be recognized as NICS-compliant.
Jim Irvine, board president of the Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) lauded the move.
“This is a big improvement,” continued Irvine. “It’s good for everyone. Legal gun buyers will benefit because they can just show their license when making a firearm purchase. And even those who favor stricter gun regulation will like it because it will help the system do what it’s supposed to do, which is help cut down on illegal purchases.”
BFA urges gun purchasers to be patient as “it may take time for dealers with a Federal Firearms License to learn about this new process.”
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