Influential Gun Rights Group Opposing Bill To Change Gun, Mental Health Laws

Jan 7, 2020

The leader of the Ohio House had pointed to that bill as an alternative to Gov. Mike DeWine’s anti-gun violence package – a proposal that is likely to be opposed by some Republicans.

The Buckeye Firearms Association lists several problems with the bill from Reps. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and DJ Swearingen (R-Huron). Their biggest concern: that it would add substance abuse as a reason a person could be involuntary hospitalized in a psychiatric facility.  

In an interview last month, House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) appeared to favor that bill over DeWine’s STRONG Ohio proposal, which has a private background check system and a version of a red flag gun seizure law.

“I think there's a big difference between the two bills," Householder said in the interview on "The State of Ohio".

The STRONG Ohio bill was introduced in the Senate, with the expectation that it would better received there than in the House. Householder has said there are some members of his caucus who are likely to vote against that bill because of the background checks proposal and the gun seizure provision.

In its analysis, Buckeye Firearms cited concerns about the bill’s provisions delaying the sealing of juvenile records till 10 years after becoming an adult and creating a portal for law enforcement to report violent felonies to the national background check system.

The analysis also says that the bill would dramatically increase the number of people who can't own firearms, saying it would "prohibit almost everyone who has committed any crime punishable by a year or more." It says the bill prohibit people charged with crimes - not convicted - from owning guns, and that there's no "grace period", so those owners would be "instant felons".

Buckeye Firearms has also published an analysis of the STRONG Ohio bill, reporting several problems wtih it, including the voluntary background check for private gun sales, a concern about doctor-patient confidentiality for those with substance abuse issues, increased penalties for possessing guns by people who are banned from that, and what it says would be a "lifetime ban" on gun ownership for people who had been involuntarily committed to psychiatric facilities.

Buckeye Firearms didn’t respond to requests for an interview.