COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine may have trouble getting his gun control legislation passed through the legislature despite both chambers being controlled by his party.
After a mass shooter in Dayton, Ohio, killed 10 people, DeWine laid out a plan to curb gun violence, which includes background checks, changes to mental health policy and increased penalties. House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, expressed concern with the plan, however.
“There are several things with the DeWine/Husted plan we have some deep concerns about,” Householder said, according to a report from the Gongwer News Service.
“Whether that be an automobile, a firearm, a knife or a bomb, I think the most important thing, if we’re going to make our communities safer, is to identify these people and get them the type of help they need and separate them from the community for a time to analyze their needs and make our communities safer,” he said. “Any type of instrument can be used so when you sit there and say, ‘I’m going to separate firearms or whatever it might be from the person,’ that doesn’t mean the person can’t go forward and do harm in other ways. We need to keep the human nature of this in perspective.”
In DeWine’s initial discussions, he suggested red-flag laws and mandatory expanded background checks, but he has since shifted his positions slightly.
Although background checks on private sales would not be mandatory, the state would provide the option for a person conducting a private sale to have a background check conducted. If the background check is conducted, he would be given a seller protection certificate, which would remove him from any criminal liability if the person commits a crime with the weapon. Those who do not have a certificate could potentially be culpable for selling to someone not allowed to legally own a weapon.
Red-flag laws would have allowed a judge to remove a person’s guns if that person is deemed to be a threat to himself and others, but DeWine said he worried about a lack of proper due process. Instead, he proposed changing the state’s pink slip laws to allow the forced hospitalization of people who are drug addicts or alcoholics. It would also allow the state to temporarily remove the guns from a person’s house if he has been pink slipped, which current law does not allow.
Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, told The Center Square in an email that this policy is actually worse than red flag laws.
“It would expand the category of people who could be involuntary committed for examination because police or relatives contacted a judge and argued they were ‘dangerous,’” Hammond said. “So under this proposal, any relative or policeman could sunset one’s Second Amendment without Due Process by ‘dropping a dime.’”
The pro-gun group discouraged Republicans from backing the gun control provision and instead encouraged them to pass a constitutional carry law and repeal current restrictions on gun rights.
Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.