Dispatch: Maneuver in Ohio House might get lame-duck votes on 2 gun bills

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting on State Rep. Danny Bubp's effort to get enough signatures from state representatives on two discharge petitions to force floor votes on two pro-gun bills early next week.

From the article:

A quiet end to the legislative lame-duck session could be interrupted next week if a GOP lawmaker is successful in forcing the House to vote on a pair of controversial gun bills.

Employing a rarely used maneuver, Rep. Danny R. Bubp, R-West Union, is hoping to get 50 House members to sign a pair of discharge petitions that could be used to override House Speaker Armond Budish's authority to control what goes to a full vote in the House.

One bill, Senate Bill 239, would allow permit holders to carry concealed guns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It also would loosen restrictions on how guns must be carried in vehicles. It was opposed by a number of major state law-enforcement associations, but Gov. Ted Strickland said this summer that he would sign it.

The other, Senate Bill 247, would allow people with certain misdemeanor drug convictions to carry guns.

Each bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate in May, with most Democrats in opposition, but neither has seen action in the Democratic-controlled House, and there were no votes planned for the few remaining session days this year.

"We have had a number of constituents contacting us about these two Senate bills," Bubp told The Dispatch.

Bubp is asking House members to come to his office Tuesday morning to sign the petitions. Per House rules, he must witness the signatures, which also must be certified by the House clerk.

Again, from the article:

If they are certified, the full House would vote to extract the bill out of committee. If it advances, the House would take a second vote the next day to pass the bill - if there are session days remaining this year.

Republicans have 46 members, so Bubp will need Democratic support to succeed. "I think Democrats are going to cross over and sign it, too," he said.

Budish, D-Beachwood, had no comment on the matter, a spokesman said.

Aside from the potential gun votes, the lame-duck session should end relatively quietly in the next week or so.

With both the House and governor's office set to change into Republican hands next year, Senate GOP leaders have not been motivated to pass bills before the session ends.

SB239 has passed the Ohio Senate by a large margin. This bill would bring Ohio into the 21st century by joining 42 states that allow concealed carry licensees to carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol, and joining 47 states that place no restriction on how a licensee may carry a firearm in a vehicle.

SB247, which passed the Ohio Senate by a large margin, including a 100% vote on a floor amendment, brings Ohio law into alignment with Federal law on restoration of rights. This bill is entirely unopposed by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney's Association, the Buckeye Sheriff's Association and almost every law enforcement organization in Ohio. There is simply no excuse for not bringing this vote to the floor of the Ohio House.

You have rolled your eyes, expressed your disappointment and outrage at Ohio's absurd gun laws...now is the time for you to do something to get these bills passed. The time for partisan finger-pointing is long past. The time for a vote is now.

Please call your Representative immediately and ask that they sign the discharge petitions for Senate Bill 239 and Senate Bill 247. Ask your representative to make the extra effort to get together with Rep. Bubp in person to sign the petition.

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