Ohio 'Red Flag' bill would take firearms from at-risk gun owners

Ohio Governor John Kasich (Source: WOIO)
Ohio Governor John Kasich (Source: WOIO)

COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - Governor John Kasich is fast-tracking a "red flag" bill and several other changes to gun policy in Ohio.

He's moving forward quickly with the plan after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Kasich announced the plans on Thursday at the state capitol in Columbus.

The six recommendations in his plan come from a bi-partisan panel Kasich held starting last year.

Republicans and Democrats all agreed on the proposals for gun safety.

"Everyone's saying, 'how do we reach out, how do we do something to ensure better gun safety?'" Kasich said.

Kasich says "Making Ohioans Safer from Gun Violence" is a sensible plan to tackle the issue.

First, he wants to see new legal protections to keep guns from potentially dangerous people.

Five states already have this so-called "red flag" law.

It would allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court to require someone who is deemed a threat to temporarily give up their gun.

"You have a sign, seen by somebody inside of your family or somebody that observes you, we can move," Kasich said.

Next, Kasich's panel wants to close gaps in NICS, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

In Ohio, clerks of court must report criminal records every seven days.

But Kasich says they sometimes go weeks or even months without reporting a single record.

"We need to find out why some of these communities don't report. So we're going to give them an opportunity to do it, we'll work with them and provide them with whatever they need, but they're going to end up reporting," Kasich said.

The last four recommendations would bring Ohio laws into line with federal standards.

It would strengthen gun restrictions on domestic violence offenders and ban armor-piercing bullets.

It would also strengthen restrictions on "straw man purchases" and possibly prohibit bump stocks, depending on any future federal government regulations.

Kasich admits this doesn't cover everything, but he says it's a start.

"You have to be able to celebrate those things that you are able to come together on that can be done, that can be enacted," Kasich said.

It will be up to state lawmakers to take up the plan.

Kasich believes if it passes, it can serve as a model for other states.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.