State Watch

Ohio law legalizing concealed knife carry, brass knuckles goes into effect

An Ohio law that took effect Monday allows the state’s residents to carry concealed knives, as well as purchase and possess brass knuckles and other specified weapons. 

The measure changes the Ohio law that prohibits concealed carry of a “deadly weapon” to no longer includes knives, razors or other similar cutting instruments. 

Ohioans can now also legally purchase and own certain weapons, including brass knuckles, cestuses, billy clubs, blackjacks, sandbags, switchblade knives, springblade knives and gravity knives, according to the Ohio Capital Journal

The state Senate voted almost unanimously in 2019 in favor of the law, with one Democrat opposing. 

The state House in December approved the measure largely along party lines, with five Democrats joining all Republicans in backing it.  

Doug Ritter, an advocate and founder of advocacy group Knife Rights, told the Capital Journal that Monday was “a great day for Ohioans who no longer have to worry that they might be arrested under a dangerously vague state law for carrying a common tool, their pocket-knife, concealed in their pocket.” 

This comes a week after a new “stand your ground” measure took effect in the state after being signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine (R) in January. 

Under the stand your ground law, Ohioans no longer have to prove that they attempted to run away or leave a dangerous situation before using a weapon in self-defense. 

Anti-gun violence groups and activists, however, argued that the self-defense law will give too much power to individuals to deploy a deadly weapon, and could also disproportionately lead to more people of color becoming victims of gun violence. 

“They sell it as now you’re going to be able to defend yourself. No, you’ve always been able to defend yourself in Ohio,” Toby Hoover of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence told local CBS affiliate WKRC-TV

“If you were truly being attacked or in danger, that defense has always been there,” she continued. “This defense changes it to you have no duty to try to even retreat. You don’t even have to consider it. You can just say I’m afraid.”

Tags anti-gun violence Brass knuckles CBS Concealed carry Mike DeWine Ohio Stand your ground laws

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