Ohioans for Gun Safety File Ballot Initiative to Close Loopholes in Background Check Law


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Today, Ohioans for Gun Safety announced they have filed a ballot initiative with the Ohio Attorney General's office to close loopholes in Ohio's background check law.

The grassroots organization is now working to collect enough signatures to get the proposal on the ballot, aiming for 2020 or 2021.

Basically, the act would require that gun sales be conducted by a federally licensed firearms dealer. It would also require the buyer receiving the firearm to complete a federal background check.

Currently, Ohio law does not require background checks prior to gun purchases, unless buying from a federally licensed dealer. Those buying from a private citizen or an unlicensed dealer only get a background check if the seller decides to contact the FBI themselves.

The act would contain some exceptions, including gun transfers between family members, transfers of antiques, transfers specifically for hunting and transfers for repairs.

There are a few more details included in the act, such as that sales must be priced reasonably, dealers are not required to complete any sale and that dealers must keep records.

More than 1,500 firearm deaths occurred in Ohio in 2017, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This total was the highest since Ohio started keeping track, and it included suicides, homicides, accidental shootings, shootings by police and unclassified deaths, with frequencies descending in that order, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

You can read the proposal, titled An Act to Close Loopholes in Background Checks on Gun Sales, here.

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