The group Ohioans for Gun Safety is rolling out a new campaign that would expand background checks for gun sales, closing the so-called “Gun Show Loophole.”
The petition is part of an initiated statute that calls on requiring the sale and transfer of guns to be conducted by a federally-licensed firearms dealer. The petition language also states that the exchange would under the condition that the purchaser receives a background check.
Dennis Willard with Ohioans for Gun Safety says this will close what they see as loopholes to the current system especially when buying a gun at a gun show or online.
“This is a great step toward reducing gun violence in Ohio. We absolutely support people’s right to have guns but we think they should go through a background check,” says Willard.
The petition language includes several exceptions such as the transfer of guns between family members, transfers of antiques, and temporary transfers for the specific purpose of hunting.
The group needs to collect 132,887 valid signatures from around the state in order to send the petition language to the Ohio General Assembly. Lawmakers then have four months to act on that proposed statute.
Ohioans for Gun Safety would be able to take their issue to the ballot if lawmakers do not act or if they pass a piece of legislation that falls short of the group’s request. To do so, they would have to collect another 132,887 valid signatures. The group says, if that happens, they would want to have something on the ballot as early as 2020 and no later than 2021.