Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has been beating the drums of gun control for a while, but nobody is dancing to his tune. To lure both parties to pass his controversial "Strong Ohio" or Senate 221 Bill, DeWine included measures he believes would appeal to both sides, including a proposal that would impose tougher penalties for violent felons caught with a gun. Matt Dolan sponsored the bill during the 2019/20 legislative session.
"We have to in Ohio get tougher on repeat violent offenders," Gov. DeWine says. "We have to get tougher on those who are convicted felons, who have absolutely no business having a gun. We need to do this. We have pending in the state legislature a bill that would do that and urged my friends in the General Assembly to take that bill up."
His proposal sounds right to that point because convicted career criminals prohibited from owning guns are responsible for most crimes in all states. However, under the hood are two gun control measures that must be passed alongside the anti-crime proposal.
DeWine packaged the bill to include tougher penalties for violent offenders caught with a gun, the red flag laws, and background checks for independent firearm sellers. He teases the Republicans that if they wish to impose tougher penalties on career criminals, they must pass the bill in its entirety, including the red flag laws and the background checks for individual sellers.
Essentially, DeWine blackmails the Republicans using public safety as bait. He posits that to punish criminals, law-abiding citizens must also surrender their 2A and 5A rights and put themselves at risk by having their guns confiscated arbitrarily. Gov. DeWine's proposal's net effect is that law-abiding citizens are disproportionately negatively affected than violent offenders.
However, the bill failed to appeal to both parties. Anti-gunners felt that the "Strong Ohio" bill is not as radical as they want it to be, while pro-2A legislators decry its invasive clauses. DeWine now wants the General Assembly to take the bill during the lame-duck session, which will be yet another disappointment to his face.
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