Home Social Justice Legislation is being created to increase the removal of firearms from dangerous situations

Legislation is being created to increase the removal of firearms from dangerous situations

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Rep. Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, will soon introduce a bill that would order firearms to be removed when a judge issues protective orders, according to Ted Hart on NBC4. The bill would bring state law in line with federal law while adding additional restrictions.

Federal law prohibits people who have been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors or have a domestic violence restraining orders from possessing guns. Ohio’s proposal would be similar, but it would also include people who do not live together but still have children together. Ohio currently does not have a state law regarding these restrictions.

Currently, people who have protection orders against them are not required to get rid of their firearms, but judges are still able to remove them if they see fit.

A similar bill, House Bill 160, was previously introduced in 2013 and was sponsored by then-Rep. Robert Hagan. That legislation would have required people who had protection orders to surrender firearms to law enforcement agencies or to sell them to federally licensed firearms dealers. The legislation was declined after one hearing.

Nancy Neylon, executive director of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, said there are no direct statistics about the use of firearms and domestic violence victims.

“I am sorry to say there are really no hard statistics on use of firearms and domestic violence victims,” Neylon said. “Ohio does not even have separate statistics for DV convictions. That said, we know from research around the country that women are at greater risk for homicide when firearms are present, and we know that the majority of women killed in Ohio are from a domestic violence incident.”

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “firearms were used to kill more than two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims between 1990 and 2005.” Almost half of all spouses and dating partners killed by homicide are killed by a partner. Women who are abused are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser with a firearm.

Mike Lawrence, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, gave information about how his organization responded to Virginia’s legislation that is in relation to the one in Ohio.

“Of all of the law-abiding people who contact Gun Owners of America — complaining that they have just lost their guns — most of them write because they have had a restraining order slapped on them in connection with a messy divorce,” Lawrence said.

He believes that ordering a gun ban can be negative.

“But we have seen, increasingly, how tumultuous personal relationships are resulting in ‘he said she said’ reciprocal restraining orders,” Lawrence said. “Not only that, we are increasingly seeing how courts are almost summarily issuing these restraining orders and how the only impact of this ‘restraining order gun ban’ is to leave abused women defenseless against their abusive partners.”

The legislation is still being formulated by Antonio.

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