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Petition Approved For Potential Gun Show Background Check Ballot Issue

It looks like Ohio voters might get to vote on a proposed law that would expand background checks for firearm sales after all. A previous version of a petition was rejected last month.

The Attorney General’s office has certified a revised petition that would be presented to registered voters to sign, saying this time around it is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed law.

The petition language seeks to create a law that requires all gun sales and transfers be conducted by a federally-licensed firearms dealer. Ohioans for Gun Safety says this proposal would expand background checks and close the so-called “Gun Show Loophole.”

The petition includes exemptions on gun transfers, such as among family members.

The proposal’s backers can begin collecting more than 132,000 signatures from half of Ohio’s 88 counties.

If proponents collect enough signatures, they can compel the Ohio House and Senate to pass a bill that closely follows their petition language.

Lawmakers would have four months to pass the plan as it is. If they don’t, the group can collect another 132,000 plus signatures to put the issue on the statewide ballot, most likely next year.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.