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Gov. Kasich introduces gun violence prevention plan

Ohio Governor John Kasich outlines his plan for gun violence prevention in the Lincoln room of the Ohio Statehouse Thursday afternoon. Behind him stands the committee he gathered to produce the plan (left to right): Deborah Pryce (not pictured), Jim Tobin, Ron Maag, Tom Niehaus and John Born. Credit: Maddy Fixler | Lantern reporter

Ohio Gov. John Kasich took to the Lincoln Room of the Ohio Statehouse Thursday to announce a multi-faceted gun violence prevention plan.

The plan focuses on legal gun sales, criminal background checks and anticipating a federal ban on bump stocks, devices that attach to guns in order to allow more rounds to be fired in a shorter amount of time.

The outline consists of six steps to reduce gun violence, including a gun violence protection order (GVPO) that would allow certain individuals to request that firearms be removed from people deemed a danger to themselves or others.

Formed by a committee of five advisers, including former Republican state Rep. Ron Maag and U.S. Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce, the gun proposal does not address any potential ban on assault weapons, or increasing the legal purchasing age for guns.

Other members of the advising committee include Jim Tobin of the Catholic Conference of Ohio, John Born, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and Tom Niehaus, former president of the Ohio Senate.

The group, mostly consisting of Republicans, finished their work Tuesday and presented their ideas to the Ohio General Assembly leadership with the hope the ideas will be passed into law.

“I will tell you that the group that has met here over the last couple of months has been very civil. We disagree, we share ideas, but at the end of the day what we did agree on were changes that will make it safer in the state of Ohio,” Maag said.

In addition to tightening gun sales and background checks, the proposal outlines prohibiting people with domestic violence convictions from owning guns, enhancing a law that stops people from buying guns for felons, and halts sales of armor-piercing ammunition.

Kasich was adamant that, while he and the others were striving for a safer state, they did not want to infringe on anyone’s constitutional rights.

At 1:00 p.m. Ohio Governor John Kasich announced a plan to prevent and reduce gun violence in the state of Ohio. Credit: Maddy Fixler | Lantern reporter

“We did not want anyone [on the committee], honestly, who did not have support for the Second Amendment,” Kasich said.

Kasich said there was discussion among the group to raise the minimum age to purchase all firearms from 18 to 21, but none that made it into the final outline.

Many of the points mirror existing federal laws, though Kasich made a point to highlight current Washington gridlock amid calls to put stricter federal gun regulations in place.

“We’ve witnessed, in the last 24 or 48 hours, a breakdown in Washington, an inability to figure out what is possible,” Kasich said. “Sometimes here in Ohio we’ve been able to do the art of the impossible, but in this case for this issue, I believe that it is best to pursue what is possible.”

Kasich’s proposal Thursday follows two weeks of national dialogue about gun violence after a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead.

Students from the site of massacre, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, have been at the forefront of the discussion, organizing rallies and challenging elected officials in Florida and across the country to take action to prevent another high-profile shooting.

Kasich was optimistic regarding the student-led protests.

“I think that we’re seeing a new era of citizenship,” Kasich said. “There are people now who are engaged in saying and doing something who have never said or done anything before.”

A gun-reform march is scheduled in Columbus for March 24.

While the plan has been presented to Senate and House leaders, it might be some time before any legislative action is taken.

“We hope that we’re not going to see any more of this violence. Unfortunately I think that likely we’re going to continue to see problems, and nobody wants to be in a position to say, ‘We sold a gun to a felon, and we should’ve known.’ We’ve seen this now, in other places, where people shouldn’t have had guns, had the system been up to snuff,” Kasich said.

3 comments

  1. Neither Kasich nor any on his committee understand the 2nd amendment. “Shall Not Be Infringed” is perfectly clear. Were it constitutional to set an age limit upon the Right to purchase, own, or bear arms, … the age could be set at 90. The issue of criminals, criminally using firearms, is always reactive, not pro-active. The only hope to reduce, let alone end acts of murder of children by children, or any acts of violence committed using firearms, or the ongoing and unconstitutional murder of countless millions of infants in wombs, … is to change people’s hearts/conscience. Only God and His Word Illuminated by His Holy Spirit may do that. Kasich should re-introduce God and His Word into Ohio’s public schools and public squares. When government and other institutions such as schools, church’s, families, and the culture cooperated to support Christianity, there was no shortage of firearms, BUT no “mass shootings.”

    So called “gun control” laws only infringe upon lawful people constitutionally bearing arms. Criminals and would be criminals ignore all such “laws.” Kasich would serve the people of Ohio much better if he exited politics and emulated his father and became a mailman!

  2. In 2016 some 38,000 Americans died as the result of gunshot wounds. Another 80,000 were shot, but survived. These numbers have been rising steadily in recent years and there is no reason that won’t continue. Only two other countries on the entire globe (Thailand and The Philippines) have higher rates of violent gun deaths. These numbers prove conclusively, my view, that Americans are too immature to own guns. Therefore, my proposal, gun owners should by law be compelled to immediately surrender their guns (guns can be owned, warehoused and ‘played with’ somewhere, but only under official supervision – which should sufficiently satisfy 2nd Amendment promises). People subsequently caught using or possessing a gun should automatically (no trial!) go to jail for 2 years and for 5 years for each repeated violation. This policy would end gun-produced carnage in this country in short order. Police would rarely be shooting people they suspected of being armed, because only a very few stupid Americans would still be in possession of a gun. Consequently, there would be no more shootings like we’ve seen in Columbine, Las Vegas, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs Church, etc., and more recently, Parkland. Americans would again actually be safe in their homes, in their schools and in their streets, like the citizens of England, Germany, Australia, Canada, etc. – i.e., like in other more civilized countries. The problem that I foresee? We Americans are also probably too immature to implement such an enlightened course of action. Alas, we will be compelled to continue to suffer the NRA’s warped version of personal safety and protection. Sometimes you get what you deserve! R. Amos, Severn MD

    • Why don’t we just pass a law making murder illegal? Wouldn’t that solve the problem, and then it wouldn’t matter if people owned guns or not. OH WAIT–murder already is illegal. I’m mystified by people like this writer who propose draconian solutions, never realizing they are passing gun restriction laws for people who do not obey laws–criminals, who would keep their guns while honest citizens would dutifully disarm themselves. Your “solution” would create a nation of helpless sheep while allowing the armed predator wolves to run free.
      Are you aware that Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun laws, and yet an out-of-control murder-with-firearms rate? How do you explain that, if gun laws reduce gun violence?
      BTW–your statistics are wrong–Mexico, Brazil, and Russia have much higher per capita firearm violence rates [and much more restrictive gun laws] than the U.S..

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