DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It began Sunday evening at the vigil in the Oregon District with two simple words: Do something. Two days later, Governor DeWine announced his 17-point proposal in response to the tragic shooting.
“This tragedy focuses you real quick. When the crowd started chanting, you know, they were right. My wife Fran and I were there, we were mad. Everybody was mad. People had a right to be mad. And people have a right to expect their leaders to take action, so it was the right thing to say,” DeWine said.
Many of those proposals 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.
One of the proposals garnering the most attention is DeWine’s version of red flag laws, in which a person would have to surrender their firearms if a judge found them to be potentially dangerous. In the past, state legislature has been hesitant to enact similar legislation.
“We went at it from the point of view of, ‘Let’s find a common ground and let’s get something done.’ So what’s different about our proposal is we built due process in it all the way through,” he said.
Under his proposal, a family member or police could file an action in court through the county Prosecuting Attorney and a judge will make a determination.
Additionally, the Governor is requesting that the General Assembly pass a law that requires background checks for all firearm sales in Ohio, with limited exceptions.
He believes we need to expand background checks in the state, and improve Ohio’s criminal record system.
“So if you run a background check on a guy and he’s been convicted of an offense that makes it so he cannot buy that gun, it needs to be in the database. So I’m asking my team to go back, let’s take a look at this again, let’s make sure all this information gets in the database,” said Gov. DeWine.
We’re still learning about the mental state of the gunman who opened fire in the Oregon District, but regardless, the Governor says that mental health needs to be a priority moving forward.
“We have a mental health crisis with our young people. The suicide rate is dramatically up, it’s just shocking, nothing more heartbreaking than to think about a child committing suicide. We’ve got to reach these kids and we’ve got to reach them at an earlier age,” he said.
Thursday, the Governor announced a pediatric mental health summit that will take place at Dayton Children’s on September 26.
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