State Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) today introduced legislation that would give active, trained members of the U.S. Armed Forces new authority to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed handgun license. 

If enacted, Senate Bill 199 would allow an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces to carry a concealed handgun if the member is carrying valid military identification and a certificate indicating successful small arms qualification, even if they do not have a concealed handgun license. Eligible individuals may also purchase a handgun if they have received military or equivalent small arms training. 

"Service men and women fight each day to protect our freedoms," said Uecker. "These are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, moms and dads. This bill recognizes their sacrifices and training."

The impetus for the legislation came from a constituent who served in the U.S. Armed Forces yet could not legally carry a handgun because he was too young to apply for a CCW permit. Senate Bill 199 offers the opportunity for any active member of the military to carry a concealed handgun, regardless of age.

"Members of our military are constantly on high alert at home and abroad to looming terrorist threats," Uecker said, "but many are left unarmed and unprotected when they are home on leave due to cumbersome CCW permit requirements. This is another step in ensuring that our military members are given every resource to protect themselves and the country they hold so dear."

Senator Randy Gardner, a cosponsor of the bill, added, "We trust members of the armed forces to protect us overseas. It only makes sense that we give them greater opportunity to protect themselves and their families when they are back home.”

Senate Bill 199 will soon be referred to a Senate committee for further consideration.

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