COLUMBUS — A lawmaker panel is poised to move legislation that would allow permitted individuals to carry concealed firearms in day care centers, on university campuses and at a range of other locations.
The chamber’s Government Oversight and Reform had its second hearing Tuesday on HB 48, with a third hearing and possible vote slated for Wednesday.
Proponents of the law changes urged passage a day after an incident at Ohio State University left the perpetrator dead and nearly a dozen people injured.
“I want knife-wielding maniacs to be afraid for their lives,” Jonathan Beshears, a law student at OSU and a concealed carry permit holder, told senators Tuesday. “I want them to stop and think about the consequences of attacking innocent people. Let us stop living in fear and put an end to this once and for all.”
OSU officials confirmed Monday that student Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove his vehicle onto a sidewalk, striking pedestrians in the process. He then exited the car with a large knife and stabbed people in the vicinity before a university police officer, who was already at the scene responding to a gas leak, shot and killed him.
The entire incident unfolded over several minutes, and campus buildings and roads were shut down for an hour and a half as law enforcement secured the scene. Eleven people were injured in the attack and sent to multiple Columbus-area hospitals for treatment.
“We wish those injured a speedy and complete recovery; and our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families,” OSU President Michael V. Drake wrote in a message to students, faculty and staff following the attack. “Days such as these test our spirit as Buckeyes — but together we remain unified in the face of adversity.”
No motive has been offered by officials investigating the incident. It’s been widely reported that Artan was a Somali refugee who was attending the university as a legal permanent resident. And The Lantern, OSU’s student newspaper, earlier this year interviewed Artan, who acknowledged his Muslim faith and voiced concern about being seen praying on campus.