COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Governor John Kasich was fired up this weekend talking about common-sense gun laws, the need for them and what the President of the United States should be doing.
He used an example of what he has directed the legislature to do to prove his point in a CNN interview.
“You’re never going to fix all of this, but common-sense gun laws make sense, and I’m hopeful that this group that I’ve assembled on both sides of the issue are going to come together with recommendations,” said Kasich. “The Speaker of our House, Cliff Rosenberger, said he’s anxious to see what can be produced. We’ll see, and if they don’t produce anything, I’ll put my own stuff out.”
Democrat State Representative David Leland says Kasich isn’t kidding.
“I’ve known the governor since he was 19 years old, and I believe him when he says that he will make something happen, and I look forward to working with him to make that happen because we both need to do it on behalf of the people of Ohio,” said Leland.
Leland sits on a committee that heard a gun bill last week, right after two Westerville police officers were ambushed and shot to death and less than 24 hours before the massacre at a high school Parkland, Florida that resulted in the deaths of 17 people.
The bill being heard that day is described as a Stand Your Ground bill with the addition of permit-less carry thrown in for good measure.
Part of the bill would reduce the penalties for carrying a concealed loaded gun illegally to be less than the penalties for carrying a concealed knife.
The Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association and the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America both opposed the bill, as did the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“This law does nothing to deter crime,” said Michele Mueller with Moms Demand Action. “You can look at Florida, and when you look at Stand Your Ground states in general, Florida had an increase of 32 percent in homicide rates.”
Mueller says the group has come to the Statehouse for every piece of gun legislation for the last five years. She said she can only think of one bill that was passed that they opposed.
After that bill was passed, the group was able to organize almost all daycare providers into opting out of a law that would have allowed people to bring guns into their businesses.
They don’t want to have to do that ever again, and so they continue to put pressure on the legislature and the lame duck governor to be judicious in the gun laws they choose to pass.
But Leland says, some of the bills currently being worked on in the legislature continue to erode Ohio’s gun laws and put citizens and police in danger, while other bills like Senator Cecil Thomas anti-bump stock bill has languished in limbo since the day after the Las Vegas massacre last fall.
Meanwhile, The Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association says the Stand Your Ground bill that was heard the day before the Florida high school shooting puts the public’s safety at risk.
How that bill and others progress is being closely watched.