Ohio Senate set to pass NRA-backed bill banning closure of gun stores, even in pandemic

Ohio Senate set to pass NRA-backed bill banning closure of gun stores, even in pandemic

The Ohio Senate was poised Wednesday to move legislation barring the statewide or regional closing of licensed firearm sellers, countering potential temporary orders under stay-at-home or public health directives. Senate Bill 360, sponsored by Republican Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, was fast-tracked through the chamber’s legislative process. The Senate was expected to approve the measure Wednesday afternoon. Obhof said in testimony earlier this month before the Senate’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee that, while Gov. Mike DeWine “was respectful of the Second Amendment and did not attempt to force licensed firearm dealers to close,” the proposed law changes would ensure future state and local officials follow suit. The National Rifle Association and other advocates supported the legislation, saying the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and resulting attempts by other states to restrict the sale of firearms, components and ammunition. “People are justifiably afraid of the many events that have taken place this year, and they’ve seen law enforcement efforts to protect the law abiding severely restrained,” Rob Sexton, legislative affairs director for the Buckeye Firearms Association, said in committee testimony earlier this month. “Special interest campaigns aimed at banning firearms and restricting access to them is also at an all time high. And we cannot assume that the current support for the Second Amendment that exists in the General Assembly will always be there.” But other groups, including the national Brady Campaign/United Against Gun Violence, said SB 360 would put public health at risk if gun stores could not be temporarily […]

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