COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich on Thursday signed into law a bill that allows gun owners in the state to carry concealed weapons into bars and other places where alcohol is served.
The measure, which was forwarded to Kasich on June 22 by the Ohio General Assembly, was signed on Thursday afternoon. Kasich is scheduled to sign the Ohio budget later Thursday.
Businesses can ban concealed weapons on their premises for safety reasons if the want to and some, like the Cincinnati Bengals football team, have indicated they will continue to bar gun owners from bringing firearms into the stadium.
The law also prohibits gun owners from consuming alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they carry their weapons into bars.
The new laws allow residents to carry concealed handguns into licensed establishments in the state, including shopping malls and sporting venues.
The new law also allows a person with a concealed carry license to transport a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle without securing it in a holster, case, bag or box -- and allows them to remove a handgun from a secure location.
Opponents of the laws had said that mixing guns and alcohol would endanger public safety. Supports argued that the laws bring Ohio into line with other states that have concealed carry rules.
(Writing by David Bailey and Greg McCune)