Editorial: Ohio lawmakers’ fears on gun laws are misplaced

Editorial: Ohio lawmakers’ fears on gun laws are misplaced

The Columbus Dispatch Fear can compel the courageous to action, send cowards running for cover — and motivate state lawmakers to move with lightning speed, especially if those they fear are powerful gun rights lobbyists. That could explain how the Ohio Senate came to rush passage last week of Senate Bill 360 , which would grant special protection to gun dealers, allowing their stores to stay open even if future statewide or regional public health directives require other retail establishments to close. The bill is supported by the National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearms Association — two groups that GOP lawmakers are afraid to disappoint, despite polls consistently showing that a majority of Ohioans favor more gun control. The bill would keep “public officials from prohibiting all federally licensed firearms dealers in the state or a specified geographic area from the commercial sale or transfer of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition except in specified zoning circumstances.” As an indication of the weight put behind the legislation, it is just the second bill in this two-year legislative session with Senate President Larry Obhof as the primary sponsor. (The first was a similar prohibition against orders to close places of worship.) The Medina Republican introduced SB 360 the last day of August and won approval by the full Senate less than 30 days later. “Please don’t encourage fear,” Toby Hoover had implored legislators in testimony against HB 360. The founder of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence asked lawmakers to […]

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