Ohio Senate Leaders Not Embracing DeWine's Gun Violence Proposals

Dec 30, 2019

Gov. Mike DeWine says one of his top priorities in 2020 is to push his package of gun and mental health law changes, which he introduced after the August mass shooting in Dayton. But both Republican and Democratic leaders in the Ohio Senate suggest that might be an uphill battle.

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) won’t speculate on the chances for DeWine’s bill, known as "STRONG Ohio." He says there will be a fair and open hearing process.

DeWine’s bill is in the Senate because it’s thought it will get a better reception there than in the House.

In an interview for "The State of Ohio," Obhof did make a prediction on the "Stand Your Ground" bill also being considered. That Republican-sponsored bill would remove the "duty to retreat" before using deadly force in self-defense.

“I do think that we will pass a change to the 'duty to retreat' law," Obhof said.

DeWine said he supports "Stand Your Ground" but wants lawmakers to focus on his bill first.
 
Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) said he would oppose "Stand Your Ground," but remains hopeful for DeWine’s gun plan. The governor's proposal aims to increase background checks on private gun sales and expand the state's "pink slipping" laws.

Yuko, like many Democrats, argues "STRONG Ohio" doesn't go far enough. He contrasted that bill to restrictive abortion legislation that Republicans have proposed this session.
 
“If I can only find a way to incorporate the word ‘abortion’ into any gun bills, we might be able to pass some really sensible gun legislation," Yuko said.