Ohio Dems Send Letter to Gov. DeWine Urging Him to Veto New Gun Legislations

Ohio’s House Democratic Caucus sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine, urging him to veto a bill that would loosen gun laws in the state.

“On behalf of the House Democratic Caucus, representatives of law enforcement agencies and local officials across Ohio, and the majority of Ohioans who favor commonsense gun safety measures, we urge you to use your executive powers to veto Senate Bill (SB) 215,” said a letter signed by House Minority Leader Allison Russo (District 24) and three other House Democrats.

SB 215 is what could be considered a “Constitutional Carry” bill.

It removes requirements for gun owners to have a permit in order to conceal a weapon. Gun owners would still have the option to obtain a concealed carry permit so they can conceal a weapon in states that reciprocate with such permits, but do not allow permit-less concealed carrying.

The bill, which passed the Ohio Senate on March 2, changes the “duty to notify” law in the state.

That law currently makes it a felony for a gun owner to fail to disclose that he or she is concealing a weapon during a traffic stop or other encounters with peace officers. It also can result in revocation of the offender’s license.

The new law would make failure to notify a peace officer of a concealed weapon a misdemeanor, which would not result in revocation of the offender’s license.

“By removing these responsible and reasonable precautions, this dangerous legislation compromises the safety and security of our communities and law enforcement while catering to extreme voices under the cover of constitutionality,” the letter says.

State Senator Cecil Thomas (D-District 9) and State Representative Jessica Miranda (D-District 28) co-wrote a separate letter urging DeWine not to sign the bill into law.

“We stand proudly with law enforcement, mayors, surgeons and doctors, and the overwhelming number of Ohioans who believe there needs to be more stringent oversight of who is permitted to carry a gun in Ohio, not less. Everyone agrees that we need to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. The enactment of SB 215 will provide an open door way for that offender to get a gun,” that letter says.

Asked specifically which law enforcement entities, mayors, surgeons and doctors opposed the bill, the Ohio House Democrats told The Ohio Star that many organizations testified against the bill.

“Some notable organizations who testified in opposition to SB 215 include the Ohio Mayors Alliance, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, the Hamilton County Sheriff, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association,” the House Democrats said.

Conservatives view the bill as preservation of the Second Amendment rights of Ohioans.

DeWine has not indicated whether he will sign the bill, but just over a year ago, he signed pro-gun legislation commonly known as “Stand Your Ground,” which eliminates the duty to retreat before firing a weapon at an assailant.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mike DeWine” by Governor Mike DeWine. Background Photo “Gun Wall” by Michael Saechang. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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