Lawmakers indicate DeWine gun control bill will be allowed to die as session closes

Even though much about this lame-duck session seems up in the air, as legislators navigate an increasing number positive cases of Covid-19, there is one thing that seems patently clear:

Mike DeWine's gun control bill, Senate Bill 221, is all but dead.

From the Toledo Blade:

Republican legislative leaders plan to pass a bill to expand situations in which someone could use a gun in self-defense without a legal duty to first try to retreat.

They seem to have little if any appetite, meanwhile, for gun reforms sought by Gov. Mike DeWine.


“At the present time I don't determine any sentiment to proceed with those,” Mr. Cupp said. “I think the House is focused on providing individuals with the ability to better protect themselves from violent crime.”

DeWine and his Lt. Gov., Jon Husted, have been stumping for passage of SB 221 every chance they get, for well over a year. At the sad anniversary of a mass killing? Check. In the wake of criminals committing high-profile crimes using a gun? Check.

DeWine has been so committed to his gun control bill that, as the Cincinnati Enquirer reported in February, he employed a fake "grassroots" - or "dark money" - group to attempt to create the illusion of support for this piece of legislation.

On multiple occasions, DeWine has even stooped to using his "coronovirus press conferences" to promote his gun control bill. Unsuspecting people are tuning in, praying their small business won't be shut down again, or hoping to learn if the state will give their child permission to participate in a sport or stage play, finding instead that they fell for a bait and switch scheme.

In these press conferences, DeWine attempted to employ several tactics to fool Ohioans into supporting his bill, many of which we've seen before, and some which were more novel.

These efforts have failed. There is no sentiment among Ohio's legislators to pass this bill because there is no sentiment among their constituents to pass this bill.

There is, on the other hand, much momentum towards passing improvements to laws which protect Ohioans' Second Amendment rights.

In addition to SB 383/HB 796, legislation that would eliminate the duty to retreat from Ohio's self-defense law, bills that could make the governor's desk are Senate Bill 317, to expressly allow teachers and other school employees to carry firearms on school property without having to undergo the same training required of police officers; Senate Bill 175, which would provide civil immunity to nonprofit organizations in case of incidents of injury or death involving the carrying of concealed weapons; as well as bills which seek to lessen penalties if a driver fails to promptly inform law enforcement of a gun’s presence in a vehicle during a traffic stop, and exempt antique firearms from the list of weapons that certain people are forbidden to obtain because of criminal records or other issues.

Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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