DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After several mass shootings happening across the country, Ohio’s “constitutional carry” law has gone into effect.
In 2019, crowds chanted at Gov. Mike DeWine to “do something” about guns after the Oregon District mass shooting.
That’s when DeWine introduced a 17-point plan to reduce gun violence that included expanding background checks, early intervention and increased penalties for people who shouldn’t have guns.
But three years later, former Dayton mayor and democratic candidate for governor Nan Whaley said we couldn’t be further away from that plan.
“Never in my worst nightmare did I think that when he said he was going to do something that he would do something to make it worse, and that’s exactly what he has done,” Whaley said. “Our communities are less safe because of his signature of bills like Stand Your Ground and permit-less concealed carry.”
DeWine’s STRONG Ohio bill expired without any action by state lawmakers last year.
In January 2021, DeWine signed the “stand your ground” bill into law, removing the requirement to retreat before using force in self-defense.
This year, DeWine signed the constitutional carry bill into law, which starts June 13, making it legal for all Ohioans 21 and over – who are legally allowed – to possess a handgun without a permit.
Legislative Affairs Director Rob Sexton with the Buckeye Firearms Association said these were laws they were fighting for.
“The closer we can get Ohio to living up to the Constitution, which gives all Ohioans the right to bear arms to protect themselves, you know, the more we’ll be pleased,” Sexton said.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) called out Ohio for this legislation, saying we need national and state lawmakers to make changes.
Brown said, “We’ve seen in state legislatures across the country, including in my own, those legislatures going the wrong way on this.”
DeWine declined to comment to 2 NEWS, instead, we were referred to a statement on the Texas school shooting posted on his social media, that said, in part:
“Fran and I will keep the victims and their families in our prayers, and we ask all Ohioans to do the same.”