COLUMBUS -- Gov. John Kasich plans to sign legislation that will allow guns stored in cars parked in the Statehouse garage, despite calls from some that he veto the measure.
House Bill 495, passed by the Ohio House and Senate in the waning days of the outgoing general assembly, heads to the governor's desk days after Connecticut school shooting that left more than two dozen people, most of them young children, dead.
The incident has prompted a national debate on gun control.
"The mass shooting calls into question what we should be doing in the state of Ohio to keep our children safe," Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney, a Democrat from Cincinnati, said in a released statement. "Unfortunately, we have witnessed a steady weakening of Ohio's gun laws during the 129th General Assembly. First it was guns in bars and then just last week the Ohio Senate passed a bill to allow guns in the Statehouse and Riffe Building parking garages.
Surely, after the massacre of 20 young children, the answer is not more guns in more places."
Kearney added, "With that in mind, Gov. Kasich should veto House Bill 495. His veto would send a clear message that it is time to reassess Ohio's gun laws."
Asked about the legislation Tuesday, Kasich said the gun law issues addressed in the bill are separate from the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and the need to ensure Ohio's schoolchildren are safe.
"Whatever we do, we don't want to erode the Second Amendment right of law-abiding citizens, and that's important," he said. "I think the bill that passed overwhelmingly is a measured approach."
Kasich also said his administration is focusing its attention on school safety issues.
"We'll be studying everything that's being said nationally, but at this point our focus right now is what can we do to make our schools safer," he said.
"It would be a big mistake for us not to focus on the fundamental cause of this violence, which in many cases is deep societal issues that involve treatment of the mentally ill." Kasich said. "It involves the unbelievable amount of violence that we see everyday whether it's in the movies or on television. And the most important thing for us right now here in the state of Ohio is to make sure that we have safe schools. And we're going to do everything we can to do it. We've got a committee working on this."
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.
I believe you have a right to have your own protection. It is apparent that neither our Justice System nor our government is capable of protecting us from neither our domestic enemies nor or foreign ones. Remember, you can not trust government.
Why not post signs at all public areas that legal posession of firearms is welcome. If you were looking for a place to rob or do whatever illegal act, wouldn't you avoid such areas and look instead for a place that phohibited all firearms?
"Every day, I 'worry' whether a situation like that in Connecticut will 'befall' my fiance, as she goes to school to 'teach' children.
Not to enter a 'BATTLE GROUND', but just 'TEACH CHILDREN'. These children are 'UNDER HER CARE', and after a great deal of PROS and CONS of thought, "I have come to the conclusion that 'she' NEEDS to have her 'OWN' form of protection on her person.
And, I believe that 'EVERY PERSON' that has the 'TRUST' of their charges 'NEED' to be able to protect themselves and the 'CHILDREN', that are in their care. So, I am now, 'advocating' that 'EACH AND EVERY TEACHER' be taught gun safety, and have the 'RIGHT' to carry in their classrooms."