Early in 1999 the founder of Ohioans For Concealed Carry came across The Kentucky Coalition For Concealed Carry, or KC3. This group managed to pass a right to carry bill in Kentucky by showing their law-makers that the citizens of their states wanted such a law. They did this by passing around a petition and collecting thousands of signatures. Since we started this project we have exceeded the number of signatures Kentucky collected in even less time.
Ohioans For Concealed Carry was formed in April of 1999 when a small group of friends, some of them police officers, decided they were fed up with the lack of progress in Ohio regarding "the right to carry". By May of 1999 the group was incorporated with the Ohio Secretary of State as a non-profit. Our first petition and website went public in June of 1999. Since then we've seen well over 500,000 requests for the various versions of our website.
We started this organization in hopes of duplicating the efforts made in Kentucky. Initially we started with a petition on legal size paper and twenty spaces for signatures. We then made a petition specifically for law enforcement officers to sign, and then a third one with only ten spaces on it to make it easier to read. We've now stopped distributing the twenty signature sheet, but we still accept it. Our first count indicated that at least 10% of those people who signed our petition were in fact police officers!
Since we started this group we have created quite a bit of noise in Ohio. As more members started to become interested we started running software to allow interested people to communicate through an email discussion group. This "mail list" has grown incredibly and is available for free to anyone interested in participating. We then ventured into writing letters to law-makers, getting involved with other Ohio and National groups who share our goals, and finding more members. As time went on we began to show up on talk radio shows all over Ohio, and we still occasionally do. We've been on television and print media, too.
Sometime in 2000 the Ohio House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee started to touch and feel legislation which would require every single firearm owner in Ohio to use trigger locks. While we remain committed to the safety of everyone -- not just children -- we strictly opposed this legislation. The bill was written very poorly and actually made it possible at one point in time for a firearm owner to be charged with a crime if a child broke into their home, stole a firearm, and injured or killed someone with the firearm. The anti-gun forces were pushing hard to pass this legisaltion. Our basic argument is that the State has no right to dictate how law-abiding firearms owners store their personal property. Instead of punishing a firearm owner after a tragedy occurs we believe properly teaching children, in a state-wide mandatory educational requirment, how to avoid and stay away from firearms when they come across them is more intelligent.