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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2019

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School Shooting Draws Attention To Ohio Gun Laws


Shortly before 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 27, the morning bell chimed inside Chardon High School. As the day began, 17-year-old T.J. Lane walked into the high school cafeteria brandishing a gun, killing three of his classmates and wounding two others.

This event in Chardon, Ohio was a senseless tragedy. But like so many others, this horrifying incident could have been prevented by minimal, common sense gun control legislation.

Under Republican Gov. John Kasich, Ohio is one of the worst gun control states in the country. If a person wants to purchase a handgun in Ohio, they are not required to file a permit, register the gun or maintain a license. If a person wants to purchase a more deadly weapon like a rifle or a shotgun, there is also no requirement to obtain a permit, registration or license. In fact, you don’t even need a permit to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun in Ohio. This doesn’t make sense to me.

Furthermore, what makes no sense is Ohio’s gun laws for those under the age of 21. In the Buckeye State, it is unlawful to sell a handgun to a person under 21-years-old. This is a good thing right? Yes, except you are allowed to sell to a person under the age of 21 for the reasons of lawful hunting, sporting or educational purposes. That’s right, you are allowed to sell a gun to a person under the age of 21 if they claim that it is for “educational purposes.”

Asking a person to register their gun is not unjust, unfair or a nuisance. When a person goes to buy an AK-47, it should not be considered wrong to ask if that person is a convicted felon. While the Second Amendment does protect peoples right to bear arms, it does not say that we cannot know certain facts about these people. We must make intelligent decisions about how we distribute, track and prevent senseless killings like those of the victims of the Chardon High School shooting.


  1. 2010 alum

    I don’t think that any sane person, wherever they might fall on the political spectrum, would object to reasonable standards as to who is able to purchase firearms. is a comprehensive overview of Ohio’s approach to firearms and is very informative.

    One gripe I have with this article is “you don’t even need a permit to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun in Ohio.” The idea of a concealed rifle or shotgun is ludicrous, unless said weapon has had their barrel shortened, which is already illegal in Ohio (and in most states). Yes, such weapons are potentially much more deadly than a handgun but permits are usually not required in states like Ohio because concealing such a weapon is difficult if not nearly impossible. It’s a small point, but I know that 2nd amendment advocates and such will jump on that point and paint the author as ill-informed about firearms in general and unqualified to suggest reforms to existing firearm laws. One doesn’t need to look far to find examples of paranoid gun-owners/advocates who at the first suggestion of gun control scream “they’re going to take our guns away!” and clamp hands to ears to sensible and reasonable suggestions for responsible gun laws. Tragedies such as the Chardon shooting bring out gut reactions from everyone, but for gun control laws to make any headway a much more carefully worded argument is going to be needed.