Report: DeWine Gun Bill Draws Skepticism

The Gongwer News Service is reporting that Senate Bill 221, introduced by Sen. Matt Dolan (R) on behalf of Governor Mike DeWine (R), is drawing criticism from both sides of the issue.

From the article:

Sponsor Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) said it’s a common-sense bill that protects the public by separating peopled deemed dangerous from guns. The measure has drawn criticism from both sides of the issue, he said – gun rights supporters think it goes too far, while gun safety advocates say it doesn’t go far enough.

The measure includes safety protection orders, to be granted by probate courts when evidence is presented to the court, with the individual present, that that person is suffering from an illness that they are not eligible to have access to firearms, he said. It modifies already existing “pink slip” law that allows people to be committed for mental health treatment if they are found to be dangerous to themselves or others.

The bill adds language saying evidence of chronic alcoholism or drug abuse along with evidence of violence or danger are also eligible under the pink slip law, he said.

It also includes enhanced penalties for mishandling firearms, including possession and brandishing of guns that are illegally obtained.

It would also improve the reporting of disabilities by requiring courts to input information into background check systems by the next business day.

When speaking about still another a portion of the 214-page bill that would create a “sellers’ protection order” for private gun sales, allowing sellers to require purchasers to first pass a background check, Dolan stated something that is certain to raise concerns among gun owners:

“The goal of Senate Bill 221 is to make sure whenever a gun transfers, we know who the recipient of that gun is.”

Second Amendment advocates have always had a strong aversion having the government “know who the recipient of” a private transfer is. This is why gun owners have fought to make certain Federal law prohibits a universal, national gun registry, and why the vast majority of states (including Ohio) don’t require registration or licensing.

Since most firearms used in crimes are obtained through illegal means, even the most stringent gun registration law doesn’t guarantee that the government knows who the recipient of a gun is. Criminals don’t register guns in states where it is required, and they wouldn’t do so here.

Dolan also told the committee how the bill seeks to “encourage” law-abiding gun owners to participate in this “optional” sellers’ protection order scheme:

“If that seller makes a mistake and loans a gun and that person is under a disability, they’re subject to three years in prison,” he said.

For their part, the Democrats on the committee expressed concerns that the bill doesn’t go far enough. They expressed a desire for the bill to institute a so-called “universal” background check and more closely model other states’ “red flag” laws.

Stay tuned to BuckeyeFirearms.org for news on further hearing announcements, including opportunities for proponents and opponents to testify.

For a complete list of bills we are monitoring in the Ohio legislature, click here.

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.

Scroll to Top