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Ohio House Republicans Consider Controversial Gun Bills During Lame-Duck

guns on display in a gun store
Seth Perlman
Associated Press

Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House are weighing a proposal to further expand Ohio's gun laws, including allowing guns in more places and increasing "Stand Your Ground" provisions.

Amendments have been added to an existing bill, HB 248, that deals with antique gun sales. One proposal would expand Ohioans' ability to use deadly force in self-defense at businesses.

Another provision would allow 18-year-olds to receive a concealed carry license and purchase firearms. An additional measure would ban schools and universities from penalizing employees or students who carry a concealed weapon legally.

"This one has got a little bit of everything in it. And there’s some pretty dangerous stuff in there," says Toby Hoover with the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the Ohio Chamber of Commerce would oppose measures that take away businesses' ability to set workplace rules.

The Buckeye Firearms Association says it supports removing the duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense at businesses.

"The legal burden in current law forces crime victims to make a terrible choice: face the loss of life, or potentially face criminal charges for protecting themselves or a loved one," said Buckeye Firearms Association director Dean Rieck in a statement on SB 383, a similar bill in the Ohio Senate.

Larger "Stand Your Ground" bills, which entirely remove the duty to retreat, are also under consideration in both the House and Senate.

Gov. Mike DeWine previously saidhe supports "Stand Your Ground" but asked the legislature to set it aside following last year's mass shooting in Dayton. Instead, the governor pushed his own plan that he says would rein in gun violence, but Republican leaders haven’t moved on it.

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.