Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is calling on his fellow Republicans in the legislature to pass what he sees as common sense gun regulations. But lawmakers don't have much time to act as the clock winds down on the current legislative session.
DeWine's "STRONG Ohio" gun regulations bill does several things.
But during his frequent COVID-19 press conferences DeWine has focused on the provisions that strengthen penalties against violent offenders caught with a firearm, which he says results in many of the gun deaths that make headlines.
"That gets my temper up. And I talk about it at different press conferences. But look, the entire bill I would like to see passed," DeWine said.
Other measures of the bill are more controversial to gun rights supporters. It expands the ability for courts to confiscate firearms, and creates a new background check process for independent sellers.
SB221 was introduced in the legislature October 2019 and received three hearings before stalling in committee last December.
The provisions on increasing penalties for repeat offenders seemed to have more support among legislators. Republican leaders in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate have not said if this bill is a priority during lame duck session.
The bill was drafted following the mass shooting in Dayton where Connor Betts, 24, opened fire in a busy entertainment district killing nine people and injuring 17 others.