COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine shared specifics of his plan to curb gun violence through proposed changes expected to face pushback from fellow Republicans who control the Legislature.
DeWine unveiled the legislative proposal detailing the plan he first announced in August, days after a shooter in Dayton killed nine people. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat, joined DeWine in Columbus for Monday’s announcement.
The STRONG Ohio bill, which is sponsored by Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) and is part of Governor DeWine’s broader STRONG Ohio violence prevention plan, “will preserve constitutional rights, expand treatment options, and prevent violence” through:
- Safety protection orders
- Thorough background checks
- Rigorous due process
- Ongoing help to those in crisis
- New state background checks
- Greater penalties for gun crimes
According to the governor, components of the bill will:
- Create a process in Ohio law, similar to the current probate court process that directs those suffering from severe mental health conditions into court-ordered treatment, to give hospitals and courts a better ability to help those who are legally declared to be a danger to themselves or others due to drug dependency or chronic alcoholism;
- Ensure that citizens have full due process at all probate court hearings;
- Ensure that those legally declared by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others do not have access to firearms;
- Give family members of those who may be a danger to themselves or others because of drug dependency or chronic alcoholism the ability to more easily petition the probate court for court-ordered treatment;
- Mandate that law enforcement agencies and courts enter certain protection orders and arrest warrants for serious crimes into state and federal law enforcement databases to ensure more accurate background check results;
- Create a new private-sale background check process that will increase the number of background checks conducted in Ohio while also protecting the privacy of law-abiding gun owners;
- Create a legal safe harbor for firearms sellers who require private-sale background checks;
- Increase penalties for those who sell or provide a firearm to someone legally prohibited from possessing a gun;
- Give judges a range of sentences for felony cases in which a gun was either possessed, brandished, or used;
- Increase the penalty for those who are found with a gun while legally prohibited from possessing a firearm;
- Increase the penalty for selling a gun to a minor;
- Increase penalties for straw purchases and knowingly possessing a straw-purchased gun.
Republicans have repeatedly blocked gun-control measures at the Statehouse. GOP House Speaker Larry Householder said recently that discussions about taking guns from people or limiting constitutional rights are concerning.