It could soon be legal to carry concealed weapons into daycare centers, colleges and private aircraft in Ohio.
The state legislature passed a bill Friday morning that provides the authorization; it passed 22-8 in the Ohio Senate and 68-25 by state representatives.
The bill is on the way to Gov. John Kasich, who is expected to sign the legislation. In 2011, Kasich approved another bill that allowed concealed guns to be carried into state bars.
The legislation was swiftly approved following what many believe to be a terrorist attack at Ohio State University. Before being shot dead, Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove into a crowd, exited his vehicle and began stabbing other students with a butcher knife.
The bill’s reference to allowing concealed weapons in government buildings was struck from the legislation at the 11th hour, just prior to voting.
The bill was still controversial, with criminal justice groups disagreeing over the effectiveness of the potential law. The Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police did not lend its support, while the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association did.
While supporters laud the bill as a preventative measure against college shootings, opponents say it will endanger public safety.
Republican state Sen. Bill Coley of Columbus objected to Democrats who criticized the bill on the grounds that it was not about protecting Ohioans but expanding gun rights, saying “there is no statistical evidence” that citizens won’t be safer when they can protect themselves.
Currently, colleges and universities can decide in 23 states whether concealed weapons may be taken on-site. Utah is the only state that categorically prohibits its post-secondary institutions from not allowing concealed weapons.