Governor Strickland tells FOP where to stick it on gun bill; Republicans should do the same
Submitted by cbaus on Wed, 05/21/2008 - 15:33.
* Ohio Legislation
* Ohio Politics
* Guns in the News
* Gun Grabbers
By Chad D. Baus
Grassroots pro-gun groups have a bill under consideration in the Statehouse, and elitists in the Fraternal Order of Police are opposed. Deja vu all over again?
Not so fast.
Gun owners have reason to hope, because this time around, we have a Democrat in the Governor's office.
Yes, you read that on a pro-gun website.
GUN OWNERS CAN BE THANKFUL THAT DEMOCRAT TED STRICKLAND IS OUR GOVERNOR.
In years past, gun owners watched as gun gun bill after good gun bill either died or was watered down in a GOP-controlled legislature. Republican caucus leaders explained that it was necessary to appease their party's governor, Bob Taft or George Voinovich.
This time around, however, Ted Strickland has made it absolutely clear whose side he is on. From the Columbus Dispatch:
When Bob Taft, a Republican, was governor, he gave law enforcement a big say in whether Ohio gun laws should be changed, but now the NRA has a rock-solid friend in Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.
He is not concerned that his support for the gun proposal goes against police officers, police chiefs and county sheriffs, a spokesman said. “As a gun-rights supporter, the governor believes these are reasonable and appropriate protections for gun owners,” Keith Dailey, the governor's spokesman, said, referring to the NRA-backed proposals.
...The Ohio Highway Patrol, which has been very vocal in the past about concerns over guns in vehicles, is now, under Strickland, declining to talk about the issue.
Buckeye Firearms Association & the NRA are seeking to address several Emergency Action Items that have concerned gun owners for some time via a 19-point amendment to Senate Bill 184, which received unanimous support by the Ohio Senate last month.
“The majority of the amendment is targeted at the poison pills and case-law problems that we've been dealt over the last four years,” said Ken Hanson of the Buckeye Firearms Association, who helped craft the amendment.
Among its changes, the bill would let anyone carry a gun in a vehicle, regardless of whether they have a concealed-carry license. The gun would have to be unloaded and in a case, which could be unlocked.
Hanson said current law, which generally says that non-licensees must transport guns in a trunk or locked case, has been “chewed up beyond recognition” by police officers and the courts.
...Some additional NRA-backed changes:
• A sheriff could not consider a sealed or expunged conviction in the background check of an applicant for a concealed-carry license.
• The penalty would be reduced for a concealed-carry licensee who had failed to notify law enforcement that he or she was carrying a gun, if the officer or dispatcher knew the person had a gun license.
• Landlords would be prohibited from barring tenants from keeping handguns.
• Law enforcement would be prohibited from seizing legally owned firearms in a period of emergency.
Governor Strickland has made it clear that he supports these "reasonable and appropriate" improvements to Ohio law. So with objections from the Governor's mansion a thing of the past, an amended SB184 should be on its way to easy passage, right?
Apparently not. The amendment was not adopted by the House Criminal Justice Committee today, as originally scheduled, nor was the bill given a vote.
Ohio gun owners and their friends who support the right to self-defense need to contact their state representatives immediately (especially the Republicans, who currently control the committee and legislature as a whole) and encourage them to disregard the rantings of the FOP and to join Governor Ted Strickland in support of this amendment.
Chad Baus is a Member of the Fulton County, OH Republican Central Committee and the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.
If you are a constituent of one of the House Criminal Justice Committee members below, Buckeye Firearms Association and all pro-gun Ohioans need you to make a polite phone call to your Representative and respectfully ask them to support the BFA/NRA amendments to S.B. 184. A vote could come as soon as tomorrow.
John J. White (R) District 38 (614) 466-6504
Barbara R. Sears (R) District 46 (614) 466-1731
Louis W. Blessing, Jr. (R) District 29 (614) 466-9091
Jim Carmichael (R) District 03 (614) 466-1474
Tony Core (R) District 83 (614) 466-8147
Jon M. Peterson (R) District 02 (614) 644-6711
Joseph W. Uecker (R) District 66 (614) 466-8134
Timothy J. DeGeeter (D) District 15 (614) 466-3485
Stephen Dyer (D) District 43 (614) 466-1790
Tracy Heard (D) District 26 (614) 466-8010
Dale Mallory (D) District 32 (614) 466-1645
Sandra Williams (D) District 11 (614) 466-1414
Tyrone K. Yates (D) District 33 (614) 466-1308
The main changes we are fighting to win for Ohioans are as follows:
1) Establish a clear standard for what constitutes a "loaded firearm." The Ohio House wants to eliminate the "ready at hand" vagueness that has trapped many gun owners and hunters in Ohio. The FOP is opposing this because they claim it would allow "... anyone to carry a gun in a car (non-permit holders) if it is not loaded and no ammunition is in a magazine or speed loader." Since both the Ohio and US constitutions guarantee us this right, it is not the FOP's place to object to this right for all law abiding Ohioans.
2) Provide protection from confiscation of firearms during disaster and other emergencies. This is what other states are calling "Katrina Legislation" and is designed to prevent the wholesale confiscation of lawfully owned firearms such as was seen in New Orleans after the Katrina disaster. The FOP is attempting to derail this important protection to your firearm and property rights.
3) Allow lawful carry of firearms in establishments with a class D6 liquor permit. This type of permit allows sale of liquor on Sunday and includes most Krogers, Ameristops, and Giant Eagle type of businesses. Fixes are also being considered to allow owners of restaurants and bars to carry concealed as well as allow special duty police to carry in such establishments. The FOP has objected to this.
4) Make changes to the notification of officers by CHL holders. The penalty to a CHL for failure to notify (such as after a traffic accident or other highly stressful situation) would be reduced if the status of the CHL holder was already known to the officer. No more making criminals out of honest Ohioans simply because they were subject to a traumatic event and failed to inform an officer of something the officer was already aware of. The FOP has objected to this as well.
5) Other important changes include:
· Allow transportation of loaded handguns in unlocked glove compartments or center consoles, as long as they are closed
· Prevent sheriffs from considering sealed or expunged convictions in background checks to determine license eligibility
· Provide mandatory attorney fees for a person who successfully secures the return of a seized firearm through legal action
· Prohibit eviction from apartments due to lawfully owning a firearm