The next round of debate over gun control is just getting underway in Ohio, but a short list of ideas proposed by Gov. John Kasich appears to be a good starting point.
On Thursday, Kasich released a reform package that a bipartisan group unanimously agreed upon.
The six proposals deal with gun violence protection orders, domestic violence, background checks, “strawman” gun purchases, armor-piercing ammunition, and bump stocks.
Three of those ideas would only be adopted by the state if first enacted at the federal level.
Not suggested by Kasich’s ad hoc group is a ban on assault-style weapons, a limit on gun magazine capacity, or increasing the age for purchase of rifles and shotguns to age 21 to match the handgun age.
It will be up to the GOP-controlled Legislature what to do with the six recommendations, if anything.
But the group’s work should get more than cursory attention from lawmakers. The ideas are worth vetting, considering they come from both Republicans and Democrats and those from both sides of the gun control issue.
Approval of the proposed reforms, though, won’t come easy. The Legislature has been particularly friendly to the majority of gun bills in recent years, including several that expanded concealed carry rules. None of the proposals would walk back any of the concealed carry changes.
The pressure on lawmakers to revisit gun control is nationwide, but may be the greatest in Florida, where the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland high school reignited the conversation. Many states have already started talking about measures like those suggested by Kasich’s group.
The state level is the best place for gun rules and regulations to be addressed. Ohio’s gun interests are far different than California’s or Florida’s.
In coming weeks, lawmakers can show their true colors by thoughtfully looking at ways to balance growing gun control concerns with our constitutional right to bear arms. The end goal should be sensible reforms with an aim to make Ohio safer for all.
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