John Kasich has issued a directive requiring the state legislature to pass a law requiring universal background checks on gun buyers, despite the law being supported by the National Rifle Association.
The state Senate voted unanimously on Monday to enact a bill that would create a statewide database that would allow the state to seize firearms from suspected felons and people who have been adjudicated mentally ill.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Department of Health and Human Services are proposing to require background checks for anyone purchasing a handgun, but they are exempt from requiring background checks at gun shows, gun shows licensed by the state or on private property.
The new law will not apply to guns owned by family members.
“I don’t think there’s a way that you can legislate on the Second Amendment,” Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Akron, said on the Senate floor.
“You can’t legislate by decree.
A number of conservative groups, including Americans for Responsible Solutions and the Ohio Right to Carry, said in a statement the law will put gun owners at risk.
“Ohioans should be allowed to carry concealed weapons wherever they go, but we shouldn’t be forced to comply with a gun registry,” said Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Union, a conservative advocacy group.
“A universal background check for everyone in Ohio would put the safety of our communities at risk, and would make our state a more dangerous place for all of us.”
The bill, HB 718, passed the House by a vote of 65-23.
The Senate approved it by a 55-47 vote on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.