Ohio House Democrats announced their plans Wednesday to introduce a package of gun-control laws in response to the so-called constitutional carry bill making its way through the committee process.
As The Ohio Star previously reported, Republicans introduced a bill in March to bring constitutional carry to the Buckeye state, which would allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons without obtaining a permit.
“Gun owners are law abiding citizens who follow the rules, and we need to let them be able to protect themselves,” Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-Mt. Lookout), a cosponsor of the bill, said at the time.
Democrats called the bill a “solution in search of a problem,” and revealed their plans to introduce a number of equally controversial gun-control laws.
“The answer to gun violence is not simply more guns. The answer is responsible gun ownership with laws that protect the gun owner and non-gun owner alike,” Rep. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) said in a press release. “If HB 178 passes it will be easier to own a concealed weapon than it is to register to vote. Our children and our law enforcement community deserve better.”
The package of bills includes the Child Safety Protection Act, which would require firearms to be stored “safely and securely out of the reach of minors.” But House Democrats also plan to introduce a red-flag law, which allows for the temporary court-ordered removal of guns from individuals who are deemed a threat to themselves or others.
“As a concealed carry permit holder myself, I support and respect the right to responsibly bear arms,” Rep. Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park) said. “Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s time to act to pass common sense measures to keep kids and communities safe.”
The Democrats’ package will also include a bill requiring background checks on all gun purchases, which Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon) described as “common sense” legislation.
“The vast majority of Ohioans support expanding background checks, which have proven to reduce violent crime and deter self-harm,” he added. “The gun lobby and their allies are trying to force Ohio to turn its back on the thousands of students, moms, and families who want gun safety—not more gun violence.”
Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) claimed that “thousands of students, moms and families across Ohio have stood up to say they want safer schools and safer communities.”
“Instituting a commonsense red-flag law is a proven, effective solution to reduce gun violence and make our schools, homes and communities safer,” she added.
Former Gov. John Kasich repeatedly tried, and failed, to persuade his Republican colleagues in the Ohio House to pass a red-flag law. In March, after the constitutional carry bill was introduced, Gov. Mike DeWine seemed to indicate that he supports the bill.
“Gov. DeWine supports protecting Ohioans’ Second Amendment rights,” his office said. “We are reviewing the recently introduced proposal, and look forward to following its movement through the legislative process.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ohio House Representatives Floor” by Joshua Rothaas. CC BY-SA 2.0.