by J.D. Davidson
An Ohio Republican state senator introduced gun-control legislation that would require a co-signer for 18- to 21-year-olds to buy any gun other than a single-round rifle or shotgun.
State Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, who lost a U.S. Senate primary earlier this year to J.D. Vance, said Senate Bill 357 protects both Second Amendment rights and the public.
“We must change the conversation on public safety in Ohio. Citizens are dying here and across our country, and far too many families are enduring unimaginable pain,” Dolan said. “Modernizing the tools we have to defeat gun violence and prevent these deaths doesn’t have to be an all or nothing conversation. Senate Bill 357 protects the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while also providing the opportunity for those suffering from mental illness to get the help and treatment they need before tragedy occurs.”
If the legislation becomes law, those ages 18-21 would need some 25 or older to co-sign. The cosigner must be there are the time of purchase and sign an affidavit of limited responsibility with the purchase.
The co-signer could be civil liable if the gun bought is used or brandished during the commission of a felony while the buyer is under the age of 21.
Dolan’s plan also includes a safety protection order that provides due process to take firearms from those believed to be a danger to themselves or others due to a mental health condition. It would allow probate judges to have law enforcement get and temporarily hold firearms.
The bill would also direct federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to hire more mental health workers in the state and speed up the expansion of regional medical health crisis centers.
“This bill develops a process with abundant procedural safeguards for law enforcement to retrieve firearms from those legally prohibited from possessing them,” Dolan said. “It requires rigorous due process, addresses safety protection orders, enhances the effectiveness of background checks, and repurposes existing funding resources to bolster our behavioral health workforce and crisis centers throughout Ohio.”
Also, the bill creates a seller’s protection certificate for private gun sales that permits a seller to require a buyer to receive written clearance from a county sheriff that confirms there is no legal disability present.
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J.D. Davidson is a regular contributor to The Center Square. An Ohio native, Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.
Photo “Matt Dolan” by Matt Dolan. Background Photo “Gun Wall” by Michael Saechang. CC BY-SA 2.0.