Ohio’s system for keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people is riddled with problems, according to a new report released Monday by the Kasich administration.
Law enforcement agencies and courts across the state routinely fail to upload data that gets added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System so that people subject to felony and misdemeanor warrants, civil protection orders and domestic violence protection orders aren’t allowed to purchase firearms, the report found.
Gov. John Kasich estimated that between 20 and 30 percent of the cases aren’t being reported into the background check system.
“So you have a gap — a significant gap — in the information that everybody ought to know as we go about the business of having a Second Amendment and making sure that guns are not in the hands of the wrong people,” Kasich said at a press conference.
The background check system was created after the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan by a disturbed man. Federal law prohibits certain people from purchasing or receiving a firearm, including fugitives, those addicted to controlled substances, people convicted to felonies that carry a year or more in prison or misdemeanors that carry two years prison time or more, those declared mentally incompetent, those convicted of domestic violence and others.
The report calls for 22 changes in how Ohio feeds data into the system, including adding training and education about the reporting requirements; cutting out duplicative efforts; and designing a more strategic approach. The working group published a compliance manual for government officials who are required to report data.
Kasich also signed an executive order mandating police agencies to upload protection orders and warrants into the Law Enforcement Automated Data System, LEADS, to close one gap that was identified.
Kasich, who leaves office in January, also called on state lawmakers to adopt his proposed gun restrictions in the upcoming ‘lame duck’ session — the period after Election Day but before the end of the year.
“These things are going to become law. I don’t know when but public pressure is going to continue to mount,” Kasich said.
He expressed frustration that lawmakers have balked at his “red flag” bill, which would allow family members or law enforcement to seek a court order to remove guns from someone who appears to be a danger to themselves or others.
“We are all in this together. Our families could be at risk. This is not that hard to do and it should be done,” he said.
Kasich had signed every gun rights expansion bill to cross his desk but in February, after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, he shifted positions.
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