Kasich's anti-gun rights tantrums continue
Frustrated with pro-gun leaders from his own party in the General Assembly, and unafraid of the Ohio electorate now that he is term-limited, Gov. John Kasich (R) continues to show his true colors on the subject of the Second Amendment.
For the better part of a year, Kasich has been demanding that legislators pass new gun control measures, including his proposed gun control bill, HB 585, and throwing tantrums when they listen not to him, but rather to their constituents.
His latest outburst came in the form of a refusal to sign Senate Bill 81, which waives the concealed handgun licensing fee for current, retired, and honorably discharged members of the military and accepts training in the military as proof of firearm competency. The bill will become law without his signature.
Through a spokesman, Kasich said he believes that "the next piece of gun-related legislation that he signs needs to be the package of common sense reforms that have been introduced and which will provide valuable tools to reduce gun violence…."
Kasich has not even come close to proving his bill will do any such thing. And that is why the legislature won't move Kasich's gun control bill. It is flawed legislation, based on raw emotion, not best practice.
Indeed, the so-called "common sense reforms" he is referring to would, among other things, allow police to take firearms from people without respect of their Constitutional right to due process. Such "red flags" laws are being used in other states to enact gun confiscation schemes.
The bottom line is this: despite his promises in the 2010 and 2014 elections, John Kasich has now vowed not to sign any more PRO-gun rights legislation, until and unless he is first given the opportunity to sign his ANTI-gun rights legislation.
That is a deal with the devil no rational gun owner would chose to make.
Meanwhile, Kasich also vetoed a bill unrelated to gun rights, but one that was sponsored by Sen. Joe Uecker (R). Uecker is also the sponsor of SB 180 (Fix Burden of Proof/Concealed Carry Modernization). Uecker's bill received veto-proof majority votes in the House and Senate, setting up a possible veto-override vote during the lame-duck session later this year.
Indeed, Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina said of Uecker's vetoed bill, “I am confident that the Senate has the votes for an override if that is the path we choose."
It does me good to hear talk of a veto override in the Senate. In March, President Obhof made similar comments about SB180:
“I think that would easily pass the Legislature," Obhof said. "I don’t think there would be any problem with that, no. Now whether we choose to go that route or not remains to be seen.”
There has also been talk of a veto-override on pro-gun legislation in the House. In June, House Speaker Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell gave the anti-gun media heart palpitations when he said he thinks the House could get the 60 votes needed to override a veto on SB 180's companion legislation in the House (HB 228).
In 2006, another anti-gun Republican governor, Bob Taft, vetoed HB 347, a sweeping firearms law reform bill that included the statewide preemption of local gun control laws provision that is now protecting Ohio gun owners from oppressive city governments in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and beyond. Under the leadership of then-Speaker Jon Husted, who is currently running with Mike DeWine (R) to be Lt. Governor, the House overrode Taft's veto. The Senate, led by President Bill Harris, followed suit, and HB 347 became law.
If Speaker Smith and President Obhof want to be remembered and revered (and voted for) in the future, they'll repeat the heroic work of Husted and Harris, moving to pass HB 228/SB180 and overriding the veto Kasich has promised will come.
A veto-override party will be a fitting end to the Kasich administration. It is high time we send John Kasich to whatever dust bin Bob Taft exists in today.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.