Gov. John Kasich this month approved a pair of executive orders designed to review Ohio’s background check processes and expand the database used for the checks.
The first order would mandate that courts and police in the state upload personal protection orders and warrants into Ohio’s Law Enforcement Automated Data System, which the state uses to interface with the FBI’s National Criminal Background Check System which is in turn used by firearm dealers to clear checks before transferring a gun. The second order would make permanent a watchdog group that Kasich formed to ensure state compliance with NICS.
“I can’t imagine anybody that doesn’t believe that this information ought to be transmitted, so I think there will be a great willingness to improve this system,” said Kasich at a press conference.
The now-permanent group, first established in 2015, was composed of members from the Office of Criminal Justice Service of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Ohio Supreme Court and produced a list of 22 recommendations to revamp the state’s background checks. The group found that 12 percent of courts in the state responding to a survey reported submitting no protection orders to law enforcement while some others reported they did not send all their orders.
Kasich, a one-time Republican presidential candidate who approved a string of gun rights protections while in office, has this year changed course and backed several gun control proposals. Last month, he refused to sign a bill waiving fees for active duty military and veterans who apply for a concealed handgun license in protest over a gun control impasse with state lawmakers, arguing they missed the chance to enact more restrictive measures this session in the wake of a high-profile school shooting in Parkland, Florida. This week, he was hopeful the effort could gain momentum before the end of the session in 2019.
“This lame duck would be a good time to actually pass something here that is responsible and responsive to the concerns that people have about the Second Amendment but yet responds to the concerns of people who could, unfortunately, become the victims of not doing something here,” said Kasich.
I’m hopeful that Ohio lawmakers will come together this fall and pass sensible reforms to reduce gun violence. Ohio can become a model for other states to follow. pic.twitter.com/mSGFLMYt55
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) September 26, 2018