3 New Gun Control Bills Introduced in Ohio House
Ohio is just now beginning to recover from a mandated shutdown of the state due to fears about coronavirus, which resulted in multiple violations of Constitutional rights across the state. So you would assume that every legislator would be focused on getting the state up and running again. But instead, we saw Democrat House members introduce three gun control bills on May 19, 2020:
HB 646 - "To require the Director of Health to establish and operate a pilot program to provide individual, problem-solving therapy sessions and related family support services to youth and young adults in Cleveland who are at a high risk for gun violence."
HB 647 - "To amend section 2923.20 of the Revised Code to prohibit the manufacture or possession for sale of high-capacity magazines except for authorized use by law enforcement agencies or for federal military purposes."
HB 658 - "To amend sections 109.78, 2923.11, and 2923.122 of the Revised Code to require firearms training for school employees approved to convey firearms into a school safety zone."
Let's take a closer look.
HB 646 (sponsored by Representative Stephanie D. Howse (D) District 11) requires Ohio's Director of Health to set up what amounts to a "gun violence" intervention program for youth and young adults in Cleveland. Here's how the bill describes it:
... specially trained certified community health workers shall provide individual, problem solving therapy sessions to youth and young adults residing in Cleveland, Ohio, who are at a high risk for gun violence. The certified community health workers also shall provide support services to families of the youth and young adults who participate in the therapy sessions.
The provision of therapy sessions to patients, and support services to their families, shall begin not later than October 1, 2021, and conclude on September 30, 2023. The sessions and support services shall be provided in pediatrician practices, primary care practices and clinics, federally qualified health centers, and federally qualified health center look-alikes that are selected by the Director of Health ...
That's fine as far as it goes. In blunt terms, it's saying gang members and youth with a criminal background or likelihood of killing people will be put in a program that seeks to reprogram them away from violent actions.
The problem is that Ohio's Director of Health is Dr. Amy Acton, who ostensibly issued the orders to shut down Ohio. Acton, a Democrat, worked as a volunteer on the 2008 campaign for Barack Obama, a staunch gun control advocate. That alone should raise concerns about how a program like this could play out.
But even more concerning is how this program would be implemented through health care providers, who as a group tend to advocate gun control. This is even displayed by the program's focus on "gun violence" rather than simply on "violence." If the goal of the program is to sway youth away from crime and violence, why the narrow focus on guns? Guns don't cause youth to commit crimes.
HB 647 (sponsored by Representative Fred Strahorn (D) District 39) seeks to limit the capacity of firearm magazines to no more than 100 rounds. Yes, you read that right. We thought it was a typo when we first saw it. However, the bill actually spells it out. No person shall ...
Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section, purposely purchase, manufacture, possess for sale, sell, or furnish a high-capacity magazine.
"High-capacity magazine" means an ammunition-feeding device with the capacity to accept more than one hundred rounds of ammunition.
Okay, there are magazines that hold more than 100 rounds, but they're pretty rare, and often expensive, such as the Armatac 150-round AR-15 magazine. Reliability, size, and weight are also big concerns. Anyone who's serious about shooting will have to consider that if a magazine fails, all the remaining ammo inside is unavailable until unloaded round by round.
How many crimes or mass killings have involved magazines with a capacity beyond 100 rounds? Most gun control advocates say magazines with a capacity beyond 10 rounds is "high capacity." So what exactly is the point of this bill? It won't please advocates of gun control or gun rights. It's just one more example of blaming equipment, instead of criminals, for crime.
HB 658 (sponsored by Representative Tavia Galonski (D) District 35) changes the law to allow school employees to carry a concealed handgun as long as they have:
... completed a course of advanced firearms training taught by an expert that includes instruction on dealing with an active shooter in a school or classroom environment.
In Gabbard v. Madison Local School District, Bloomberg-funded gun control advocates are suing to prevent school employees from carrying firearms in Ohio schools unless they have more than 700 hours of police training, which would effectively shut down employee school security programs. So this bill could be an attempt to recognize the effectiveness of training programs such as our own FASTER Saves Lives, which focuses exclusively on active killer scenarios.
However, we maintain that school districts should make all decisions about their own security, as current Ohio law makes clear, and that new laws mandating and specifying training requirements are unnecessary. Laws like this merely invite more meddling in local affairs.
Needless to say, Buckeye Firearms Association opposes all three of these gun control bills, and we urge the House to reject them.
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.