DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio’s constitutional carry law is officially in effect. It allows qualifying Ohioans to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
While it cuts down on some barriers for eligible Ohioans, it adds some steps for law enforcement officers. Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck said people no longer have to tell law enforcement officers they are carrying a concealed weapon.
“If a deputy or another police officer makes a traffic stop, or talks to you any other way as far as official business goes, they have to now ask,” Sheriff Streck said.
But some in the law enforcement community are worried this provision could put officers at greater risk.
“I’m always worried for my officers’ safety. Our city happens to be a city where we have a lot higher gun violence, so I’m concerned about my officers all the time, so this just adds a little more to it,” Dayton Police Chief Kamran Afzal said.
Chief Afzal is concerned they will not be able to challenge an individual who might be illegally carrying a gun.
“Previously, we had some measures to be able to challenge somebody if we see a concealed weapon saying hey can we see a potential weapon, do you have a concealed weapons permit for that? We no longer have that standing,” Chief Afzal said.
Despite this extra step for law enforcement, they are prepared to adapt to the changes.
“If they make a traffic stop, they introduce themselves, say this is why I stopped you, do you have any firearms on you? I think that will become part of the normal introduction now just to get that out of the way,” Sheriff Streck said.
Both Streck and Afzal want to remind people that if an officer asks if you are carrying a concealed weapon, you are required to answer. They also encourage people to still go through training even though it is no longer required.
“Hopefully time will tell that there won’t be an issue with this. I personally don’t feel that we’re going to have, mayhem in the streets because people can now carry a firearm, because most of the people who wanted to carry concealed already were carrying concealed,” Sheriff Streck said.