In a flurry of activity due to the rapidly approaching summer recess, the Ohio Senate passed two pro-gun bills yesterday and both now head for the House.
SB239, the hotly debated Restaurant Carry bill that also reduces restrictions on vehicle carry (see Irrational opposition to Restaurant Carry bill doesn't stop passage), passed 23-10. Senators Buehrer, Cafaro, Carey, Cates, Coughlin, Faber, Fedor, Gibbs, Gillmor, Grendell, Harris, Hughes, Husted, Jones, Niehaus, Patton, Schaffer, Schiavoni, Seitz, Stewart, Wagoner, Widener, and Wilson voted in favor of the bill. Senators Goodman, Kearney, Miller D, Miller R, Morano, Sawyer, Schuring, Smith, Strahorn, and Turner voted no.
SB247, which is a rights restoration bill that brings Ohio law into compliance with federal requirements to restore firearms rights to those who petition for it with the federal government, also passed 23-10, though the support was slightly different. Senators Buehrer, Cafaro, Carey, Cates, Coughlin, Faber, Fedor, Gibbs, Gillmor, Grendell, Harris, Husted, Jones, Kearney, Miller D, Miller R, Niehaus, Sawyer, Schiavoni, Seitz, Wagoner, Widener, and Wilson voted yes. Senators Goodman, Hughes, Morano, Patton, Schaffer, Schuring, Smith, Stewart, Strahorn, and Turner voted to oppose the bill.
Stewart Miller, a restaurant general manager in the Columbus Arena District, spoke out against the Restaurant Carry provision and worries it will require businesses that serve liquor to need to hire security despite the fact that there are no problems in the other forty-some states that currently allow Restaurant Carry. Of course, any private business that feels the way he does can post a "no guns allowed" sign and prohibit firearms on premises.