Gov. DeWine Announces Plan To Strengthen Gun Background Checks

Aug 28, 2019
Originally published on August 29, 2019 9:54 am

Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced plans to enhance background checks for gun purchases, the latest step in his administration’s plan to reduce gun violence.

DeWine wants to require criminal warrants to be added to state and federal background systems, along with violent protective orders and other offenses.

"When critical information is missing, bad things happen,” DeWine said at a press conference Wednesday.

DeWine says most Ohioans would be surprised to find out this information isn’t already required to be reported into the state and national systems.

"This makes absolutely no sense," DeWine said.

Violent crimes like murder, kidnapping, rape, and domestic violence would now be mandatory entries.

DeWine doesn't have a dollar figure on the cost, but says it should be borne by the state, not by local governments.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted says warrants, indictments and protection orders are mainly a paper system that end up in a file somewhere but doesn’t get added into digital databases. Husted says making it digital could automatically enter these records into the background systems.

Gun rights groups have been critical of criminal database reporting for years, saying this is something already in place that could reduce gun violence without adding more regulation. Members of the Buckeye Firearms Association attended Wednesday’s press conference, and Husted has said he's working with gun rights groups to get these proposals passed.

Eric Delbert, co-owner of L.E.P.D. Firearms, Range, and Training, supports DeWine's proposed requirements. He says that the move would lead to more accurate background checks.

"The last thing we want to do is sell a firearm to an individual who is prohibited from owning a firearm and see that individual go out there and cause harm to fellow citizens and to fellow law enforcement," Delbert says.

A few days after the mass shooting in Dayton earlier this month, DeWine unveiled a 17-part package of gun proposals and mental health policy changes, which include a “red flag” gun seizure law and background checks for private purchases.

Republican leaders of the House and Senate have suggested passing some of these proposals might be "difficult" to pass.

Copyright 2019 WOSU 89.7 NPR News. To see more, visit WOSU 89.7 NPR News.