Restoration of Rights bill (SB61) scheduled for sponsor testimony in House committee

[UPDATE May 23, 2011 - Chairman Mecklenborg has removed this bill (and one other) from the meeting agenda due to time contraints related to the volume of testimony scheduled to be given on another bill the committee is considering.]

On Tuesday, May 24, the House Committee on State Government and Elections, which is chaired by BFA "A" -rated Rep. Bob Mecklenborg, will hear sponsor testimony on Sen. Jason Wilson's (D) SB61, which will align Ohio law with federal statutes regarding the restoration of rights to Ohio firearms purchasers. The hearing will be held at 1:30pm in Room 116.

A nearly identical bill has already been passed by the House. HB54 received four hearings in the House Committee on Criminal Justice earlier this year, and it passed out of that committee on an 8 - 3 vote on March 30. HB54 did not receive a floor vote in the House until May 11, when it passed by a 78-18 majority. SB61, which was identical to HB54 until an improvement was amended in by the Senate committee), passed in the Senate on April 13 by 27-5 margin.

Due to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has stopped accepting Ohio's court orders restoring a citizen's right to own firearms. The purpose of this bill is to update Ohio's statutes to address this issue and protect Ohio citizens' legal rights under the law.

"Someone who has been legally buying firearms, in some cases for many years after they received a legal Ohio restoration, may suddenly discover that he or she is back under a firearm disability because Ohio's restoration of their firearm rights was not deemed complete by Federal authorities," said Hanson. "The proposed bill realigns Ohio's law with new Federal enforcement rules to effectively get the same result that has been working in Ohio for years."

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