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DeWine responds to criticism over controversial 'Constitutional Carry' law

For the first time since signing the bill this week, the governor defended the move, citing other states that have similar laws.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine spent Wednesday morning celebrating the grand opening of a facility that will make machinery for General Motors’ automated Ultium battery pack assembly lines.

But he also was pressed on his decision this week to sign the so-called "Constitutional Carry" law.

“About half the states now have this provision, and I think this is consistent with the United States constitution,” the governor said.

Once in effect, the new law will allow any legal gun owner to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. It also means drivers who are pulled over do not have to tell law enforcement they have a gun.

That’s just one reason many law enforcement organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge #9, opposed the legislation.

President Gary Wolske argued the law does not put public safety officers first. DeWine said law enforcement agencies will have to make adjustments.

“Most police departments have told us that what they will do with that will simply become part of the protocol, that when a police officer walks up, there’s always some questions that they are supposed to ask, that their department tells them to ask, that will be probably the first question that they’ll ask,” he said.

The recent legislation is the second law DeWine has signed in the past two years that has been praised by 2nd Amendment supporters. Just last year, he signed the so-called "Stand Your Ground" law, which also drew criticism.

It all comes nearly three years after the deadly Dayton mass shooting, after which a large crowd chanted “do something” at the governor during a vigil.

10TV asked the governor for a response to those who have called for action and have yet to see it.

“We’re still asking the state legislature to take action on a bill, which I think is frankly a no-brainer, and that simply is, it says that violent repeat offenders who commit most of the violent crime today if they are in possession of a gun, a judge should have the ability to put them away for at least 10 years,” he said. “That’s a very simple bill. I’m again asking the state legislature to take action on that bill. What we’re seeing in our cities, but not just our cities but our communities across the state is, the violence that is occurring is predominantly from people who have committed violence in the past. It’s pretty simple. We need to go after these people. That bill is pending in the state legislature. It needs to be passed.”

That legislation is House Bill 383. It was introduced last August and referred to committee in September. There has been no movement since then.

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