Columbus OH March 22 2017 Employers can no longer forbid workers from bringing guns on company property if the weapons remain locked in vehicles under a new law that took effect Tuesday.
Since Ohio's concealed-carry law took effect in 2004, private business owners have had the ability to determine whether employees or customers could carry guns on the premises, including parking lots.
As part of the latest law relaxing restrictions on carrying guns in Ohio, public and private employers can no longer ban a person with a valid concealed-carry license from storing a gun in the person's vehicle.
"This is important," said Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "Previously, if a business bans guns at work, including parking lots, employees are essentially banned from having their firearm all day, and are defenseless from the time they leave home in the morning until they return home in the evening."
Business groups generally opposed the provision, arguing that business owners should retain the right to control what is permitted on their properties.
Under Senate Bill 199, today also would be the first day that guns could be carried on college campuses and in daycare centers, if trustees or center owners choose to allow them.
Officials from the Inter-University Council of Ohio and the Ohio Association of Community Colleges said they were unaware of any institutions allowing guns on campus.
The Ohio State Board of Trustees is not considering a change to its gun policy, said spokesman Chris Davey.
Rieck said he wasn't expecting universities to act quickly on the matter.
The gun bill also allows concealed-handgun licensees to carry guns in non-secure areas of airports and on private aircraft. In addition, active military members with weapons training can now carry a concealed handgun without a license.