Social Justice Bill allowing concealed carry in day cares, airports, police stations clears in Ohio House By Marianne Dodson Posted on November 23, 2015 7 min read 1 0 575 Photo courtesy Nathan Hart via Flickr. A bill that would allow licensed gun owners to have a concealed carry inside day care facilities and in some areas inside airports and police stations passed in the Ohio House on Nov. 17. House Bill 48 would allow permit holders to take a concealed carry inside day care facilities as well as allow them to take a firearm on a private airplane. The bill would also let permit holders have a handgun within public areas in police stations and in areas of an airport that are not beyond a screening checkpoint or restricted-access area. The bill sits with a long list of other gun-related bills that are being discussed by the Ohio Legislature. “Certain legislators that are very much influenced by the gun lobby are really taking advantage of the culture of fear that we are living in right now,” said Jennifer Thorne, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. “I think with very high-profile mass shootings occurring in our country on a regular basis, and with these horrific acts of terrorism, people are frightened — and they are hoping to capitalize on that.” Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, believes that the policies brought up in HB 48 are necessary measures but that people oppose and find issue with the provisions due to the bill being gun-related. “It’s a gun issue,” Irvine said. “Because of that, the most simple, common sense thing becomes a controversy.” The bill would allow permit holders to have a handgun in a school safety zone as long as the handgun is locked inside a vehicle. Under current Ohio law, a person must not leave the vehicle they are in if they are carrying a handgun in a school safety zone. “It’s one of the laws that gets broken the most because it’s so difficult to comply with,” Irvine said. “It’s an insane law. We’ve had license holders get screwed up and not understand the rules. We’ve had cases where people saw stuff and they got concerned and the cops showed up and then prosecutors got involved.” HB 48 also gives public and private universities and colleges across Ohio the chance to opt-in to this regulation by letting each school individually determine whether to allow license holders to have a handgun on school grounds. If the school decides to opt-in, the institution will not be held liable in a civil action for any injury, death or loss to person or property that results from a person bringing a handgun on campus. For schools that choose not to adopt the policy, the bill reduces the charges against permit holders carrying a handgun on that campus to a minor misdemeanor. Supporters of the bill believe that by prohibiting guns in some areas, the law is facilitating criminals in committing crime rather than limiting it. “They call them ‘gun-free’ zones — that’s an inaccurate term,” Irvine said. “It’s a victim zone. It’s a place where we have told someone who wants to commit mass murder, ‘Hey, this is a good place to come commit this crime.’” The bill’s opponents disagree with the “victim zone” label and believe that it can be a dangerous title. “I think that by using that terminology they are being purposely inflammatory and extremely misleading,” Thorne said. “Gun-free zones are not magnets for mass shootings; in fact, we know that individuals who commit mass shootings often have a motive for choosing that place.” Thorne went on to cite the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where the perpetrator had previously attended the school and thus had ties to it. She believes that what HB 48 is proposing comes as a stark differentiation to what people across the U.S. are currently advocating for. “There’s a lot of conversations in our country, particularly about law enforcement and how we should be focusing on better training for them on how to react,” Thorne said. “Yet here in Ohio, we’re talking about letting more people carry guns in more places than ever.” HB 48 passed in the House with a 68-29 vote after hearing no debate due to Speaker Cliff Rosenberger calling for an immediate vote. The bill now heads to the Senate, where Republicans hold a 23-10 majority.