Missing from 2020 Ballots: Proposals to Expand Gun Restrictions

Missing from 2020 Ballots: Proposals to Expand Gun Restrictions

Election 2020 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email a link to this page In 2016, a group of gun safety activists in Ohio decided they wanted to get a universal background check initiative on the 2020 ballot. Similar initiatives that expanded background checks to private gun sales had just been passed by voters in Washington State and Nevada, and the group, Ohioans for Gun Safety, wanted to replicate their success. The all-volunteer staff spent more than a year conducting a listening campaign, during which they surveyed gun owners at gatherings across Ohio. They spent another year crafting language with the help of national gun reform groups and legal experts. They got the mayors of Cincinnati and Dayton on board. They gathered 2,000 signatures to file the proposal , then moved on to the final step: collecting more than 250,000 signatures. In December, they decided to shoot for the 2021 ballot, instead, to give themselves more time. Then the coronavirus hit. The state Health Department issued a shutdown order in April. Collecting signatures became too risky for Ohioans for Gun Safety’s volunteers, who skew older. Four years of work was put on hold until 2022 — at least. “We have overcome so many hurdles, but we never anticipated a pandemic,” Anne Wallace, one of the campaign’s organizers, told The Trace. The 2020 election marks the first time in six years that a gun reform initiative will not appear on a state ballot anywhere in the United States. Ballot initiatives […]

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