Proposed Ohio Bill Would Prevent Gun Seizures, Gun Store Closures During Emergencies

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

During the height of the lockdowns, one big problem throughout the nation was that a lot of people wanted guns but couldn’t buy them. That’s because the gun stores were closed by government order. An Ohio bill seeks to address that.

And that’s not the only aspect of gun rights it seeks to protect, either.

Ohio lawmakers will once again consider a bill to guarantee that state and local governments can’t seize guns or close gun stores or ranges during declared emergencies.  This new version comes as Ohio has seen three mass shootings in three days.

The sponsors say the bill guarantees Second Amendment rights during emergencies, noting gun confiscations after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 and pandemic-related shutdowns of gun stores in Michigan, but not in Ohio.

Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) said lawmakers ran out of time to consider the bill last year, so they’ll do it now – though there were three mass shootings in Ohio in as many days.

“These shootings, the things that are going on, they’re a tragedy. They’re tragic,” Schaffer said. “We pray that they would stop and we want to make sure that Ohioans are properly protected, particularly if there’s a state of emergency declared, which is what this bill will do.”

And, honestly, this bill has nothing to do with those shootings. While they’re tragic, to put it mildly, this bill deals with states of emergency. Unless those states existed and the law somehow enabled the shooter, you just don’t get to compare the two.

Of course, for some the fact that there was a shooting is ample reason to not consider a pro-gun bill. Then again, those who tend to make a big deal about it weren’t interested in considering the bill in the first place.

As for this bill, let’s understand that it’s not something dealing with fantasy. This isn’t some lawmaker’s paranoid fever-dream driving this. As noted, this is based on real events, where gun rights were not respected. One of those was how Michigan trampled on gun rights by mandating gun stores be shut down just last year.

In other words, this stuff has happened, so there’s reason to address it and to do so now.

No one is accusing Gov. Mike DeWine of wanting to go down that road. While DeWine has his own anti-gun agenda, it’s nothing on par with what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pulled in Michigan, and he had the opportunity.

Instead, laws like this are about what some governor down the road might do. These laws shouldn’t be needed, not with governors who swear to support and defend the constitution, but if they did that we wouldn’t need a gun rights movement in the first place.

Unfortunately, we do.

That’s where laws like this come into play, and they’re laws that anti-gunners really do have a hard time working against without betraying the fact that their issue is really that people want guns and has nothing to do with keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals.

Ohio needs to pass this bill and DeWine needs to sign it. It’s as simple as that.