Gov. DeWine outlines plan to tackle gun violence

COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine is not calling for a “red flag law” or universal gun purchase background checks, but instead wants to improve existing systems to address gun violence that has killed more than 16,000 people in Ohio since 2007.

At a press conference Monday, the Republican governor called for a system to let people voluntarily run a background check before they sell firearms to someone in a private party deal. He also wants to mandate more timely, complete information be sent to existing background databases so that people who cannot lawfully buy a gun aren’t able to clear a background check.

DeWine is also wants a clear path for police to enforce existing laws that allow seizure of firearms from people under a “weapons disability” because of mental illness, drug use or alcoholism. Additionally, the governor wants people with drug dependency or chronic alcoholism and are deemed to be dangerous to be held in hospitals for up to 72 hours — as is the process for people with mental illnesses who exhibit signs they’re a danger to themselves or others.

“The STRONG Ohio bill will give hospitals and courts a better ability to help those who are legally declared to be a danger to themselves or others due to drug dependency or chronic alcoholism,” the DeWine administration said.

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