COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine won't ask the Republican-controlled state Legislature for a "red flag" law or mandatory background checks on private gun sales.
Those were ideas the GOP governor proposed two months ago, days after a mass shooting in Dayton that left 10 people dead and 27 injured.
Monday, he retreated from those proposals, opting instead for legislation he said lawmakers and Second Amendment advocates might support – or at least not tank immediately.
"This is something that we believe can pass, will pass and will make a big difference," DeWine said.
Not red flag
Instead of a red flag or extreme risk protection order law that would remove guns from people deemed dangerous, DeWine proposed expanding the state's "pink slip" system, which places mentally ill Ohioans in hospitals for up to 72 hours.
Under DeWine's proposed changes, those dealing with chronic alcoholism or drug dependency could be "pink-slipped," too.
After a hearing in probate court, a judge or magistrate could determine that the person should be separated from his or her firearms. The person could give guns to someone who doesn't live with him or her, sell them or give them to law enforcement.
One concern: Ohio's hospitals are strapped for money and space. In some cases, people sent to a hospital with a pink slip are released within hours. Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, has a bill that would free up some space used by nonviolent offenders.
Ohio would lock up its residents instead of their guns.
"It actually is more extreme, frankly, than a red flag law," Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said. "They're taking the person away for 72 hours rather than just taking the gun."
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who helped craft the gun legislation, said a red flag law was unworkable because taking away someone's guns immediately violated their due process rights and waiting for a hearing could endanger police and victims.
"Removing the gun does not mean you’ve helped the person or kept others safe," Husted said.