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2017 and Your Gun Rights – The Year in Review

by Chad D. Baus, Buckeye Firearms Association

While there is far too much to cover in a single article, we reflect on some of the important events of 2017.


Calls for national reciprocity law grow louder across the country on the heels of news that officials in the State of Minnesota have decided to no longer accept concealed handgun licenses from Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas is beginning to trickle its way through the concealed carry community.

The Hearing Protection Act of 2017 is introduced in the Senate by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) with co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) as S.59. Representatives Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and John Carter (R-TX) – together with 42 co-sponsors – introduce a similar bill in the House as H.R. 367. The bill would remove suppressors from the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA), which requires buyers to pay a $200 tax and undergo an enhanced background check that can take up to nine months to complete.

A Hinckley (Twp.) Elementary School teacher’s decision to shame her nine-year old student for having worn a sweatshirt featuring a photo of herself with a mature 8-point buck harvested during her first-ever Youth Hunt goes viral. The teacher, principal and supreintendent issue apologies.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation announces that after four years, the FASTER Saves Lives program has trained 773 school teachers and staff members from 194 districts in 8 states. This includes teachers and staff in 74 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Outgoing President Barack Obama takes several final parting shots at the Second Amendment, as several agencies finalize new rules and regulations that Mr. Obama had been pushing for. Among those, the Social Security Administration, or SSA, announce that they have finalized rules under which they will be reporting – possibly many thousands of – Social Security benefit recipients to the FBI’s National Instant Check System as “prohibited persons.” In addition, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issues a final directive stating that ammunition and tackle containing lead will be forbidden on all USFWS lands within five years, sooner if possible.

National concealed carry reciprocity legislation is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC).

President Donald Trump nominates Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the United States Supreme Court.

Buckeye Firearms Association’s Linda Walker is named as a Co-Chair to President Trump’s 62 member Second Amendment Coalition.


House leaders announce plans to roll back recent a host of Obama Administration regulations put in place during the last 60 days of Obama’s tenure under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Among the regulations specifically targeted for action is the Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) gun grab, enacted in the waning days of the anti-gun president’s tenure.

Buckeye Firearms Association is invited to participate on a taskforce initiated by the ODNR, Division of Wildlife (DOW) to develop Ohio’s 10-year deer management plan. The Deer Management Stakeholder Organization that will provide meaningful input regarding Ohio deer management recommendations.

The Fourth Circuit Court rules that a person carrying a firearm in West Virginia – a state where carrying firearms is legal – has effectively foregone a portion of their constitutional rights because they are carrying a firearm, reversing an earlier option that “reasonable suspicion that a person is armed does not by itself give rise to reasonable suspicion that the person is dangerous.”

Congress approves the first gun rights bill of the new Republican-controlled Washington, voting to erase an Obama administration regulation that would strip law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights by forcing the Social Security Administration to report some of its beneficiaries to the firearms no-buy list. President Trump signs the repeal days later.

The news media leaks a “white paper,” penned by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Associate Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Ronald Turk, which outlines several changes that ATF could make to decrease the burdens placed on gun owners and the firearms industry while maintaining public safety.


A UPS employee is murdered by an abusive ex-employee on a “no-guns” company parking lot. UPS has long been known for its vigorous enforcement of a no-guns policy.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) releases the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) statistics for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the annual report. The report reveals that 2016 was another record year with more licenses being issued than any year in the nearly 13 years Ohio has issued licenses.

National concealed carry reciprocity legislation is introduced in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke scraps a ban on lead by hunters and anglers in outdoor recreation that was passed on the final full day by the Obama administration.

Changes enacted by passage of Ohio Senate Bill 199 take effect. Business entities, property owners, and public or private employers may no longer ban a person who has been issued a valid CHL from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition when the items are locked in a person’s privately-owned motor vehicle on company property. In addition, the new law allows CHL-holders to keep their handgun locked in a motor vehicle on school premises; allows colleges and government bodies to decide for themselves if concealed-carry should be allowed; allows CHL-holders to carry on private aircraft, in the non-secure area of airports and in day-care centers, unless the day care posts a “no-guns” sign, allows active military members who have the same or greater training than CHL holders to carry a concealed handgun without a license; and allows the sale of firearms to active duty military members without regard to their age.

State Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) introduces House Bill 142, a bill which seeks to repeal requirements that, when detained for a law-enforcement purpose, a concealed carry licensee must “promptly inform” an approaching law enforcement officer that the licensee is a licensee and is carrying a concealed handgun.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation hosts the annual Buckeye Bash, which features keynote speaker David Keene.

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme court, asserts during his confirmation hearings that Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller“guarantees the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.”


Tactical Defense Institute hosts the sold-out 2017 Buckeye Blast, a fundraiser for Buckeye Firearms Association.

Buckeye Firearms Association publishes an article highlighting questions and problems caused by businesses working around changes enacted by SB 199, and illustrating why Buckeye Firearms Association has pursued the “protected class” route for many years to solve the problem of employer-enforced gun bans.

The U.S. Senate votes to confirm Neil M. Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

BFA’s Linda Walker and Sean Maloney are re-elected to 2017 NRA Board of Directors.

The Ohio Wildlife Council approves 2017-2018 hunting regulations expanding the list of straight-walled rifle cartridges for deer hunting.

Cedarville University announces that a decision on whether to allow concealed carry on the campus is expected to be made in May.


The Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals declares that a Cleveland gun offender registry and several gun regulations first proposed by Mayor Frank Jackson in 2014, and passed by city council in 2015 are unconstitutional. A lower court had already struck down other parts of the law last year. The Eight District decision comes less than three years after Buckeye Firearms Association’s Ken Hanson testified before the Cleveland City Council, warning them that it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to pass the law, and defend it in court, given the fact that they were facing certain defeat

Representatives Ron Hood (R-78) and Tom Brinkman (R-27) introduce House Bill 201, a bill which seeks to have Ohio join the growing number of states which allow “constitutional” carry, or lawful carry of a concealed firearm without a license.

An Edgewood, Ohio middle school student is handed a 10-day suspension for “liking” a picture of an airsoft gun on Instagram.

Cedarville University trustees approve a plan that makes theirs the first college in Ohio to publicly allow concealed carry on campus.

Multiple hearings on HB 142 (Repeal LEO notification) and HB 201 (Constitutional Carry) are held by the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee.

Representatives Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) introduce HB 228, a concealed carry modernization bill. The bill seeks to fix several problems with Ohio’s concealed carry law, including the state’s arcane self-defense burden of proof requirements.

Secretary of State Jon Husted announces his candidacy for governor of Ohio by highlighting his achievements to promote and defend Second Amendment rights.

Rep. John Becker (R-Clermont Co.) introduces House Bill 233 (DEFEND Act), a bill that seeks to decriminalize so-called “no-guns” victim zones for concealed handgun license (CHL) holders.

13 years after the Ohio Attorney General first declared bans on concealed carry on city busses to be illegal, the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (or RTA, the city’s public bussing system) finally considers a proposal to change their policies to allow concealed carry on city busses.

Dillon Sportsman Center, in collaboration with the Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF), holds the first annual Spring Youth Shoot.


Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s FASTER Saves Lives program hosts its first-ever out-of-state training event in Colorado. The program also announces that, for the first time ever, they are opening a very limited number of spots in the July class to the public.

The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (or RTA, the city’s public bussing system) approves a change in their policies to allow concealed carry on city busses.

The Ohio Legislature passes and Governor John Kasich signs a biennium state budget containing funding for Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s FASTER Saves Lives program.


The House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee holds still more hearings on HB 142 (Repeal LEO notification), HB 201 (Constitutional Carry) and HB 233 (DEFEND Act). Rep. John Becker’s DEFEND (Decriminalization Effort for Ending Notorious Deaths) Act is passed out of committee.

The Ohio House of Representatives passes Rep. John Becker’s DEFEND Act (Decriminalization Effort for Ending Notorious Deaths) with a 65-31 vote, or more than a 2 – 1 margin.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s FASTER Saves Lives program hosts its first-ever out-of-state training event in Colorado. The program also announces that, for the first time ever, they are opening a very limited number of spots in the July class to the public.

ABC Cleveland reports that concealed handgun license applicants are being forced to wait for months for an appointment in Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney’s office. The problem is revealed to be one of management, not demand.

The grandson of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is indicted on two felony weapons-related charges, exposing the impotence of Cleveland gun control laws the mayor has fought for.


Levi Baus, a 15-year-old Life Scout from rural Archbold, Ohio, completes an extensive Eagle project involving the purchase and installation of FASTER Saves Lives medical trauma kits, and providing training to help teachers receive the life-saving skills they need to use the kits in an emergency.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation announces that the FASTER Saves Lives program has trained 1091 school teachers and staff members from 225 districts in 12 states. This includes teachers and staff in 76 of Ohio’s 88 counties. The program will also provide the ‘Trauma Medicine for Active Killer Events’ training to another 200 staff before the end of the year.

Jefferson County, Ohio Common Pleas Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. is able to protect his own life by using his concealed handgun to return fire after being ambushed outside the courthouse in Steubenville.

The Department of Justice makes clear that the Obama Administration’s underhanded attack on the gun industry using the banking system – better known as Operation Chokepoint – is over. In a strongly-worded letter to U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd assures the chairman that the operation has been terminated and that “it will not be undertaken again.”

Twenty-one state Attorneys General, including Ohio’s own Mike DeWnie (R), file a joint amici curiae, or “friends of the court,” brief supporting the petitioning of the U.S. Supreme Court by plaintiffs, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, to take up Kolbe v. Hogan, the case in which the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Maryland could ban semi-automatic modern sporting rifles on grounds they are “like” firearms in use by the military.

Sens. Joe Uecker (R-Miami Twp.) and Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) introduce Senate Bill 180, which seeks to reform the state’s arcane self-defense burden of proof requirements. For the most part, the bill mirrors HB 228, introduced in the House last spring.


Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) joins forces with the Sportsmen’s Alliance and other leading sporting organizations and gun clubs in the Protect What’s Right Campaign. The campaign is designed to bring awareness to the problem of the state’s network of decaying public shooting ranges and develop a strategy to address shortfalls in funding for shooting ranges and other issues.

The National Rifle Association announces its strong opposition to the order signed by U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp allowing the government to seize personal firearms and ammunition ahead of Hurricane Irma. The Association says it is prepared to engage the legal system to halt the unconstitutional order.

The House Federalism & Interstate Relations Committee, chaired by Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), reviews and adopts a substitute version of Rep. Scott Wiggam’s (R-Wooster) HB 142. Under the substitute bill, the law would be modified to require that, if asked by a law enforcement officer for a driver’s license or state-issued ID, a CHL holder must also display the person’s concealed handgun license or documents demonstrating the person to be a qualified military member with the driver’s license or state ID, or orally inform the officer or employee, at the same time as displaying the driver’s license or state ID, that the person has been issued a concealed handgun license or is authorized to carry a concealed handgun as an active duty military member, and disclose that the person then is carrying a concealed handgun or has a loaded handgun in the motor vehicle. The substitute bill also specifies that failure to comply with the notification requirement described above is a minor misdemeanor and that the offender may be subject to a fine of not more than $25; plus it removes the possibility of having a concealed handgun license suspended for failure to comply.

The Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on SB 180 (Fix Burden of Proof/ Concealed Carry Modernization).

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine testifies before the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee in support of Sub. HB 142. The bill is passed out of committee on a 9-2 bipartisan vote.

CBS News features Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s FASTER Saves Lives program.

For the third time, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms honors Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) with its coveted Grassroots Organization of the Year Award “in recognition of the tireless hard work and dedication to the preservation of the individual right to keep and bear arms by its members.”


The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit strikes down a Washington D.C. requirement that requires citizens to provide a “good reason” to be issued a permit.

A coward takes mass murder to new heights, firing on a crowd of concert-goers from an upper floor suite in a Las Vegas casino. Gun grabbers immediately seek to capitalize on the bloodshed.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) admits that NO gun control law would have stopped Las Vegas mass murderer (but still calls for gun control).

Cincinnati prosecutor Joe Deters scolds Key Bank for having asked a hero off-duty police officer who stopped an armed robbery that they no longer wanted his business because he had traumatized the bank customers and employees. Key Bank quickly issues a mea culpa, saying there was a “misunderstanding.”

Analysis of a “Bipartisan Bump Stock Bill” introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting reveals that it would actually ban all semi-automatic rifles in the United States.

Substitute House Bill 142 (Modify LEO Notification), sponsored by Representatives Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) & Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald), is passed by the House of Representatives with a bi-partisan 69-24 vote.


A citizen uses an AR-15 to stop a mass murder in progress at a Texas church. Former Vice president Joe Biden responds that the hero should not have been carrying his rifle.

The Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee holds another hearing for SB 180 (Fix Burden of Proof/ Concealed Carry Modernization).

The FBI reports that it fielded 203,086 background check requests for gun purchases on the day after Thanksgiving — the highest daily total ever.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approves H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, by a vote of 19-11. H.R. 38 would eliminate the confusing patchwork of state laws that makes it difficult for law-abiding permit holders to travel across the country with their firearms for personal protection. Under the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, states would be required to honor the valid concealed carry permits issued by other states, while ensuring that felons and the dangerously mentally ill do not get access to firearms.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) releases the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) statistics for the third quarter of 2017, revealing that a record 637,000 Ohio adults now have Concealed Handgun Licenses.


H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, gains support from a coalition of America’s highest-ranking law enforcement officers. Twenty-four attorneys general from across the country, including Ohio’s Mike DeWine (R), sign a letter supporting this common sense legislation.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is passed by the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support in a 231-198 vote.

House and Senate committees hold hearings on several bills, including Sub. HB 142 (Modify LEO notification), SB180 and HB 228 (Fix Burden of Proof/ Concealed Carry Modernization).

The U.S. House of Representatives passes Rep. Blaine Leuktemeyer’s (R-Mo.) legislation ending ‘Operation Choke Point’ by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 395 to 2.

The FASTER Saves Lives Program receives national attention on the 5th anniversary of the massacre of school children in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

Buckeye Firearms Association

Our family of highly effective pro-gun organizations includes Buckeye Firearms Association, Buckeye Firearms Foundation, and Buckeye Firearms Association PAC.

Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that serves as the flagship of our grassroots efforts to defend and advance the right of more than 4 million Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation.

BFA works to pass pro-gun legislation, educate the public through ongoing media relations, provide high-quality firearm classes, and make available a wide variety of resources for gun owners.

For more information, visit their website at www.BuckeyeFirearms.org

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