Hundreds Of Ohio Courts Skip Kasich's Survey On Gun Background Checks

Jul 3, 2018

Records show more than 200 courts across Ohio failed to respond to Gov. John Kasich’s executive order seeking more information on their history with the national background check database used in stopping gun-related crimes.

Kasich sought the information in April as part of his broader bipartisan effort to improve Ohio's gun laws. He signed an executive order urging clerks of court to do a better job entering criminal information into the system, and inquiring why counties aren’t complying already.

Hundreds of courts, including 87 of 88 courts of common pleas and all but 12 of 164 municipal and county courts, complied with Kasich's request, according to survey results obtained by the Associated Press through a public records request.

But 214 courts in 63 Ohio counties didn't provide the governor's requested National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, self-evaluation.

One court listed as not responding told the AP that it did participate. The non-responding courts were mostly small mayor's courts. At least one common pleas court and a dozen county clerks also were listed as not responding.

Karhlton Moore, executive director of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, said the administration was pleased overall with the level of response to the voluntary survey. He said results are being analyzed for a report due to Kasich on Aug. 1.

"The next step is reaching out to NICS submitters and try to make an assessment of the reasons why they're either not reporting or they are reporting but things that could make it easier to report," Moore said.

Kasich suggested in April that his government would possibly punish counties who didn’t comply with the requests.

"There's just no excuse for this data not being sent," Kasich said.

Following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Kasich proposed a slate of "common sense" gun control measures, including requiring all gun purchases be entered into a statewide law enforcement database. However, Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith says legislators probably won’t consider the bill.