Gun safety group wants background checks on 2021 ballot

    Ohioans for Gun Safety

    A group focused on making background checks required for all gun purchases in Ohio has announced plans to put the issue before legislators and potentially voters statewide.

    Ohioans for Gun Safety hopes to present the initiative to the statehouse by next year and get it on the ballot if needed in 2021.

    The initiative would mandate that the sales and transfers of firearms be conducted by a licensed dealer. It would also require all of those buying or receiving a firearm be subjected to a background check. The proposed text does allow for examples, such as transfers between family members and tempory transfers for hunting purposes.

    In Ohio, organizers must collect petitions totaling three percent of the votes cast for governor in the most recent election to be able to present a proposed statutes to the Ohio General Assembly. (Based on the 2018 election totals, that number is just shy of 133,000.) 

    From there, the state legislature has four months to consider the proposal. If no action is taken, organizers can then collect an additional 133,000 or so signatures to file the proposal for a statewide ballot item.

    “We are optimistic that 2021 will be the year Ohio closes the gun show loophole once and for all,” an Ohioans for Gun Safety statement reads.

    Tyler Buchanan
    Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.