The last House Session before lawmakers go on Summer Break until after the November General Election is this Wednesday.
Last week, Speaker of the House Ryan Smith told journalists that interest in passing the Stand Your Ground bill was high and that a vote could be expected on it this week.
That isn’t going to happen after all.
After discussing the situation in caucus, the interest for passing the bill as it currently is on Wednesday was not there.
According to Smith the bill is complex and one of the issues that it delves into is changing the duty to retreat.
Smith says addressing that duty is an issue that many of the Republican lawmakers want to change, not necessarily in the bill though.
As such, the discussion of what that means for the bill may happen over the summer or when lawmakers get back in the fall after the election.
State Representative David Leland was pleased to learn a vote on the Stand Your Ground bill was put on hold.
“When you get emails and phone calls from hundreds of people in your district saying they don’t want you to do a particular thing, I think that has a tendency to influence a legislator’s decision and I think it did here, and I think it influenced a legislator’s decision in a very positive way,” said Leland.
Meanwhile, Representative Michael Henne’s bill that is based on Governor Kasich’s 6 proposed measures to address gun violence was changed Tuesday.
One of the biggest changes is when guns are able to be seized when someone is thought to be a risk to themselves or others.
The original bill allows for someone to report an individual is a threat to police who will then go to a judge to get permission to take that individual’s guns ahead of a court hearing to determine if they are a threat within three days.
The new substitute bill keeps almost all of that the same, with one major change; instead of seizing the guns at the time of notification, police will let the person know that a hearing is being called within the next three days. The guns would only be seized after the hearing occurs and a judge determines they should be taken away.
This change addresses Republicans ire over due process being served and protecting the second amendment.
To be clear, when a threat is received there are two paths that can be taken to mitigate that threat and in both cases weapons could still be seized.
The first is if the individual made criminal threats to lead to the police being notified. In that case the person could be taken into custody on charges, which could lead to the weapons being seized as part of that process.
The second is what is commonly referred to as a “pink slip” process where an individual is taken into custody for medical reasons and taken to a hospital; these cases typically involve someone seeking to harm themselves, and again in some cases the weapons could be seized.
In both previous paths, the individual would not likely have access to their weapons prior to the hearing that must be held within 72 hours.
However if neither path is pursued, and all that is done is a notification of a pending hearing, some are concerned that the individual could accelerate their plans and follow through with what they are planning before their weapons can be taken away.
According to Henne, the changes were unavoidable in order to garner enough favor with Republicans to keep the bill from dying in committee.