Americans' rights to keep and bear arms have been infringed upon, severely in some places, during the past few decades. Legislators at both the local and state levels are right to reject many limits on gun ownership.
But there is such a thing as going too far, and members of the Ohio General Assembly should take care not to do so.
Last year lawmakers approved a measure allowing people with concealed-carry permits to take guns into businesses, including those serving alcohol. Many people thought that was a bad idea, and it was. The statute has prompted hundreds of businesses throughout the state to post signs asking patrons not to bring guns on the premises.
Now lawmakers are being asked to approve two new bills on how firearms are treated. One, frankly, is simple justice - but the other is dangerous.
Rep. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon, planned to introduce the bills. His first proposal is that people be allowed to take guns into the Statehouse parking garage in Columbus, where they currently are banned. Prohibitions on guns in other state buildings would be retained.
Obviously, forcing private businesses to allow patrons to carry firearms while exempting government buildings is hypocritical. If it's all right to permit a situation in which a bar patron may become intoxicated, then angry enough to pull a gun, why isn't it acceptable to allow people walking through a dark parking garage at night to carry protection?
Maag's other proposal is to relax the law under which motorists pulled over by law enforcement officers are required to inform them promptly if guns are being carried in vehicles. Maag also wants to eliminate the requirement that in such situations, motorists must keep their hands in plain sight until officers have left the scene.
Law enforcement agencies oppose the change. They have good reason to do so. Most deaths of police officers and sheriff's deputies occur in traffic stops, when people pulled over, often for minor offenses, draw guns and open fire.
Existing law gives law enforcement officers some protection - without infringing on the rights of motorists to carry firearms.
Lawmakers should reject that proposal and any other that unnecessarily jeopardizes law enforcement personnel.