Ohio Governor John Kasich joins crowded Republican presidential field

Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) is running for president.

Kasich made the announcement on Tuesday, July 21 at The Ohio State University, saying "I am here to ask you for your prayers, for your support, for your efforts because I have decided to run for president of the United States."

From NBCNews.com:

In a speech that described the woes of Americans worried about lost jobs, health care costs and crushing student debt -- and that made a point to reference the specific worries of minorities -- Kasich also tried to strike an optimistic note.

"The sun is rising, and the sun is going to rise to the zenith in America again," he said. "I promise you."

Kasich's 43 minute campaign announcement did not touch on Second Amendment issues.

While Kasich's record in Congress gave gun owners reason to worry during his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, as governor, he has signed several important pieces of pro-gun rights legislation:

  • HB 495, which eliminated the "demonstrated competency" requirement for second and future concealed handgun license (CHL) renewals, making CHL training similar to a hunting license, and fixed the definition of a "loaded gun" to match the commonly accepted definition.
  • SB 17, which restablished Ohio concealed handgun license-holders' right to carry in establishments that serve alcohol, so long as they are not consuming, and removed all of the restrictions placed upon a licensee carrying a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle.
  • HB 54, which aligned Ohio law with federal statutes regarding the restoration of rights to Ohio firearms purchasers - specifically clarifying that Ohio only considers felony drug convictions as firearm disabilities.
  • HB 234, a sweeping firearms law reform bill which included changes that reduced training to obtain a CHL from 12 to 8 hours, improved reciprocity/recognition that will make an Ohio CHL accepted in more states, corrected the definition of an “automatic firearm” by deleting the 31 round magazine rule, and legalized hunting with noise suppressors.
  • HB 64, Ohio's massive biennial budget bill, which removed the media access loophole (MAL), a provision which previously gave journalists a special exemption to access the confidential information of CHL holders.

Gov. Kasich joins an already crowded field of candidates who are vying for the Republican nomination. Fifteen other Republican candidates, with varying records on the Second Amendment, have also tossed their hat into the ring.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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