Obhof, however, argued that legislators have taken action on bills to increase penalties for gun crimes and improve access to state psychiatric hospital beds. Other gun bills are being vetted, he said.
“I can’t guarantee one way or another that any of them will get any particular votes. That’s up to the members and whether we decide those are the right policies or not,” Obhof said.
DeWine asked lawmakers to read the details of his proposals.
“These are rational things to do. Again, I would ask members of the Legislature to look at this and read the bill, look at what it actually does. What you’ll find is it is very consistent with the Second Amendment,” DeWine said. “This bill will save lives and we need to get it passed in the General Assembly this year.”
Ohio political leaders answered journalists’ questions Tuesday at a forum sponsored by The Associated Press.
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Sykes said the Dayton shooting seems to be fading from lawmakers’ memory.
“We saw the chance from the people in Dayton to do something and the governor mentioned that he’d push for background checks and for red flag laws and we got a watered down version of that,” Sykes said, who added that she’s not hopeful there will be substantial action to curb gun violence.
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“Unfortunately, we’ve gone down the path we tend to go, which is to vilify those with mental illness and make them the scapegoat. That is unacceptable and that is unfair,” she said.
Householder, who lives in Perry County, noted that rural Ohioans can’t rely on prompt police response so they want firearms for self-protection.
“If the guy who is coming down my driveway, if he has got an AR-15, you know what I want? I want an AR-15. That’s the way it has to be because we protect ourselves,” Householder said.
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The speaker said “I’m of the belief that the biggest gun lobby that we have in the state of Ohio are the millions and millions of Ohioans who lawfully own firearms for sport and for protection.”
Illustrative of how far apart the legislative leaders are on gun issues, Sykes said she has never fired a gun in her life while Householder reported that he used a shotgun Sunday to shoot clay targets with family members.
Yuko and Obhof said they haven’t fired a gun in a long time; DeWine said he last fired a gun during his training class for a concealed carry weapons permit about eight years ago.