Ohio Democrats unveil legislative gun control proposals

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Democrats in the Ohio House have unveiled several gun control proposals including universal background checks for gun purchases and so-called “red flag” laws allowing for the temporary removal of weapons from individuals deemed a risk to themselves or others.

Other Democratic proposals would require safe and secure storage of firearms in homes with children, with a tax credit provided for those buying safety locks, and would also allow local communities to once again approve their own gun control measures.

“Ohioans have spoken loudly and clearly that we need to do something to end gun violence,” Akron Democrat Emilia Strong Sykes, the House minority leader, said Monday in introducing the proposals.

She said gun violence has gone up, not down, since the 2019 shooting in Dayton that killed nine people and wounded two dozen others.

The proposals face an uphill climb in a Republican-dominated Legislature where GOP lawmakers have pushed recently to ease many weapons restrictions.

In January, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a bill expanding the so-called “stand your ground” right from an individual’s house and car to anyplace “if that person is in a place in which the person lawfully has a right to be.”

DeWine signed the bill despite expressing disappointment that lawmakers didn’t add measures he sought since the Dayton shooting that would toughen background checks and boost penalties for felons committing new crimes with guns.