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Ohio School Groups, Police And Clergy Back Kasich Gun Reform Bill

Michael Saechang

A coalition seeking to reduce gun violence across Ohio is urging lawmakers to act quickly to enact Republican Gov. John Kasich's proposed gun law changes.

Groups representing students, teachers, school counselors, police chiefs, pediatricians and Catholic clergy joined a letter sent last week to state legislative leaders. The groups criticized the Legislature's seeming "lack of urgency" in updating Ohio's gun laws over the past month as three more mass school shootings have occurred.

Companion bills in the House and Senate containing changes recommended by a bipartisan advisory group convened by Kasich have been stalled at the Statehouse since mid-April.

State Rep. Mike Henne introduced many of the recommendations in HB 585, which includes banning bump stocks and armor-piercing ammunition and creates a “red flag” law, which keeps guns from people the courts deem as threats.

HB 585 would also require gun purchases be entered into the statewide law enforcement database, something Kasich has pushed for all local agencies to do.

While that bill currently has no co-sponsors and remains stuck in committee, Ohio Republicans have pushed through other, pro-gun legislation such as HB 228. That bill, which may soon receive a full House vote, would make Ohio a “Stand Your Ground” state and block local governments from passing gun control measures.