Is Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine really in a “tight spot” now that the state legislature has approved a Constitutional Carry bill, as one local news outlet suggests? The bill passed handily out of the House and Senate, though not with veto-proof majorities, and the measure is a top priority for Second Amendment groups in the state. There are also 21 other states that have already enshrined Constitutional Carry into law, so it’s not like Ohio is reinventing the wheel here.
If DeWine finds himself in a bind here, I’d argue it’s a problem he’s created on his own.
Last January, DeWine signed the controversial “Stand your Ground” bill (SB175) which removes the requirement for a person to retreat before shooting someone in self-defense. DeWine says he signed it because he said he had promised to do so during his campaign.
But DeWine has also said he doesn’t consider guns to be a high priority issue. He embraced some controls on guns, especially after the August 2019 mass shooting near Dayton that killed nine and injured 17 others. Just two months later, he stood alongside then Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat who is now running for governor in her party’s primary, when he announced his “Strong Ohio” gun reform plan.
“A lot of our members are very unhappy about his support for Strong Ohio but happy with the duty to retreat,” Sexton said. “As [DeWine] heads toward his re-election campaign, it would be a heck of a message to send gun owners if he signs constitutional carry and emergency powers [another BFA policy goal] in that same year. I think it would send a message that he can be counted on for strong, pro-gun legislation.”