DeWine announces proposals to address gun violence, mental health issues

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTRF) — Governor Mike DeWine entered the Harding briefing room shortly after 9:00 a.m. flanked by his wife, Fran, and his Lt. Governor Jon Husted. 

As he stepped to the podium the room waited in silence as he gathered himself. 

That silence was shattered by the screaming of a woman from outside the room echoing a chant heard Sunday night in Dayton, Ohio.  

“Do something,” she screamed as the governor was looking down at the podium preparing to speak.  

The governor smiled, looked up and proceeded to explain exactly what he was going to do. 

DeWine laid out at least 17 proposals or action items as he started to call some of them. 

Many of those items dealt with increasing penalties for felons who possess a gun illegally, or use a gun in the commission of a crime, or for when a gun is used in the commission of a felony in general, or for when someone makes a strawman purchase for someone else, or for when an adult sells a gun to a minor, to name a few. 

Other items dealt with getting people help when they are suffering with mental illnesses. Much of these sections use money that has already been planned for in this way and approved by the state legislature in the recently signed state budget. 

Some of those programs directly deal with schools and school kids, while at least one asked state lawmakers to do something about state psychiatric hospitals and how they are used by courts. 

Currently, a large portion of patients in the state psychiatric hospitals are there until they can be found competent to stand trial for a crime. DeWine says there are better places for those individuals to go through that process, and they are taking space away from people who need treatment. 

Finally, DeWine announced a Red Flag style proposal similar to what his predecessor put forward. 

Last General Assembly Kasich’s proposal died as a result of and unwillingness for the GOP led legislature to move the bill.  

Republicans cited concerns over due process rights as a major sticking point. 

Today, DeWine announced he sought out pro-2nd Amendment advocates in structuring his proposal with due process specifically in mind. 

Kasich gathered member of a coalition from both sides of the argument and reached a compromise for his bill. 

One big difference between the two proposals is the due process portions. Where Kasich’s proposal secured the guns when notification was given to someone that they were a threat to themselves or others, DeWine’s proposal does not.  

Instead DeWine’s proposal has the person notified of the court hearing which must be held within three days, at which time a judge could order the guns secured. 

DeWine’s proposal also calls for a second hearing within 14 days to determine if the order needs to be extended. 

Some, like Chris Dorr, the executive director of Ohio Gun Owners, a grassroots pro-gun rights group calls DeWine’s proposal Red Flag Light and says, gun owners will not be fooled by DeWine’s attempts. 

Two other pro-gun rights groups were invited to the press conference by the administration, Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohioans for Concealed Carry. 

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