By: Teresa Mull

A set of bills being considered in Ohio would expand gun rights to state residents.

House Bill 248, if passed, would “expand Ohioans’ ability to “‘stand their ground’ from residences and cars to businesses,” rather than simply at their homes, reports It would also lower the age by which people can legally carry concealed and purchase firearms to 18 and enable people to carry firearms inside bars and other places that are currently “gun free zones.” reports:

The amendments would allow concealed guns in more places, including colleges and universities, places of worship and state property. Other locations that currently ban concealed guns, such as police stations and airport terminals, could allow them if the governing bodies of those locations approve the change.

If the amendments become law, business owners who post signs banning guns on their property could be sued for anyone injured or killed there.

The founder of the anti-gun group Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence called the bill “really frightening.”

Of course, as GPM has reported repeatedly, more guns do equal less crime. So-called “gun free zones,” as Erich Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, said, have served as “magnets for killers.”

In fact, the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) has found that 97.8 percent of mass public shootings between 1950 and 2018 have occurred in “gun free zones.”

Some of the deadliest mass shootings in this country’s history have occurred in so-called gun free zones, and most of the recent shootings that have made the news have happened in these shooter safe-havens:

“Gun free zones are, as so much evidence proves, essentially ‘sitting duck’ zones, where only criminals are armed,” Brown told Gunpowder Magazine. “So-called ‘gun free zones’ illustrate, better than any other anti-gun mandate, how, like any law, gun control only controls law-abiding citizens, and does nothing to thwart criminals.

“In fact,” Brown continued, “gun free zones provide killers with an easy target – a place 98 percent of mass shooters have taken advantage of to carry out the most amount of bloodshed possible, time and time again. Lawmakers need to wake up to the facts: Gun free zones make mass shootings worse.”

In its rankings of “Best States for Gun Owners,” based on right to carry, castle doctrine, and other laws, Guns and Ammo magazine ranked Ohio 23rd last year, up from 35th in 2013. The Buckeye Firearms Association credits this jump in the rankings to the passage of SB 228, which the organization it endorsed, and that, according to BFA, “shifted the burden of proof back to the prosecutor so that citizens are innocent until proven guilty, strengthened ‘preemption’ provisions in Ohio law that prevent local governments from passing their own gun laws, aligned the definition of “shotgun” to mirror Federal law to end the confusion about the Mossberg Shockwave and similar firearms that are currently legal under federal law but illegal under Ohio state law, and more.”

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.