House Speaker says 'Deep Concerns' Remain Over DeWine Gun Plan

On Monday, Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted held a press conference to provide details on legislation they would soon unveil to address violence.

Thought the final bill has still not yet been formally introduced, the Gongwer News Service is reporting that Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder is already expressing his “deep concern” that some provisions go too far.

From the report:

“There are several things with the DeWine/Husted plan we have some deep concerns about,” the speaker said.

Among them is language that would create a new private-sale background check process by enabling the buyer to receive a “seller’s protection certificate” from the local sheriff. Those who do so would receive a legal safe harbor immunizing them from criminal liability. The plan would also enhance penalties for those who sell or provide a firearm to someone legally prohibited, lowering the burden of proof by requiring a prosecutor to prove negligence of the seller rather than recklessness as is current law.

“It’s the only piece of property to my knowledge where you bear negligence after you’ve lost possession of it,” Speaker Householder said of his concern with that change. “Going back to a fairness issue, I think there’s things that need to be looked at and corrected.”

Gongwer also asked Speaker Householder about the “enhanced safety protection order” element, which seeks to build on the current “pink slip” law by allowing those with mental health issues to be involuntarily committed to a hospital for 72 hours, but he said his chamber intends to focus on its own plan to create a weapons disability data portal (HB 354).

“That is where we’re starting at in the House,” the speaker said. “We’re going to take testimony and continue to work on that bill.”

Rep. Householder said he wants the chamber’s discussion to remain centered on “the human being side” of the issue and “not so much on the instrument they might use.”

“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,” the speaker continued. “We need to keep the human nature of this in perspective.”

Indeed, as Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck observed on Monday, “We have said for years that we need to focus on mental health and enforce current law.”

Buckeye Firearms Association will carefully review the final bill, and track it and all other firearms legislation introduced in the Ohio Legislature and continue to defend the Second Amendment rights of Ohio’s 4 million gun owners.

Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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