When Ohio passed CCW law (many years behind everyone else), they got the application wrong. Getting licensed to carry a concealed weapon is a good idea, but the practical application of having a license has a glaring error in it.
I lived in Florida the first time I got a license to carry a concealed weapon. My action was prompted by getting off the expressway at the wrong exit and ending up in the wrong neighborhood. I already had a suitable pistol; all I needed was the license. Complying with Florida law I went through the training class, was photographed and fingerprinted, and six weeks later I was informed that I'd passed the F.B.I. background check. A few days after that I passed the shooting test where I cut the center right out of the bull, then I was given my license to carry a concealed weapon. I don't remember the cost, but it wasn't astronomical.
Then I came back to Ohio, got my Ohio CCW and got a big surprise. About half the places I visited, I encountered one of these:
This is ridiculous. I've been through training in Ohio, I've passed the background check again, and yet some silly SOB doesn't like the ideas of freedom and civil rights. Worse, the Ohio government supports this stupid idea. The Federal government wants to disarm all of us, but at the State level we've at least got some modicum of our rights restored.
Let me preach to the choir for a minute. Consider the Second Amendment: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Translated into plain speech, it means that I, being a member of the class people, can own and/or keep any type of firearm I choose, and carry it in a manner that suits me. Not everyone likes this idea, and the Second Amendment (2A) is the most hotly contested of all the civil rights, although lately the right to privacy is running a close second.
The most common question I hear from gun owners when the subject of the Brady Bunch and its nefarious, anti-freedom allies comes up is, "Why don't they understand?" They, the Brady Bunch Commies, understand just fine. They're not dumb. They don't like freedom, they don't like the 2A, so they elect people just like themselves who are happy to pass restrictions on the 2A and a lot of other things.
I'm digressing. So sue me.
I'm not foolish enough to actually want everyone who thinks they need to carry a pistol to actually do so without some form of training, including a very practical finger on the trigger session at the local range. Now, that said, I still think it's their right to do so and I won't oppose them. But here's where a CCW license comes into play.
Anyone with a CCW license in Ohio has already had a background check, been through training and demonstrated a solid knowledge of practical use. So, when a CCW holder sees a sign like this one:
The CCW licensee ignores it. He's got permission to carry his pistol right past anything like this. As far as other restricted areas go, the law in Ohio lists Police stations, Sheriffs’ offices, Highway Patrol posts, Premises controlled by BCI, Correctional institutions or other detention facilities, Airport terminals or airplanes, Facilities for the care of mentally ill persons, Courthouses or buildings in which a courtroom is located, Universities, Places of worship, Child day-care centers and Licensed Class D liquor permit premises as prohibited. The CCW licensee should be able to legally ignore this entire list, with the exceptions of the secured area for the mentally ill, any jail or prison, any court (not the courthouse, the courtroom itself) and the possible exception of a commercial airplane. The rest of these are open to the licensee.
Likewise with the workplace. The employer has no right whatsoever to curtail or prevent any law abiding adult from protecting themselves. Let the employer put up signs; the CCW holder ignores them.
What I seek to avoid are signs like these:
Which means that if you're a nut case and a sufficiently disgruntled ex-employee with a brand new SKS, a case of ammo and an axe to grind, seeing a sign like this one means it's open season. Me, I'd like someone to be able to shoot back when the pellets hit the windmill.
My only real solid exception to the no-carry sign is a man's home. Be it ever so humble, a man's home is his castle. Anyone who comes to visit me is free to pack his gat along with him. I don't expect the same treatment, and being informed that I can either check my hardware at the door or I can stay outside is fine by me.
So there you have it. We can still have CCW in Ohio, but changing the authority of the license around a little will make it a good deal more practical, and will keep all of us safer and happier. Except the Brady Bunch, who may suffer a debilitating stroke when they read this one.