The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence (OCAGV) is appalled that Governor Mike DeWine, in signing S.B. 215 into law, appears once again more willing to put the backing of the gun lobby and Ohio legislators under its control as a larger priority than is ensuring prevention and reduction of gun violence in Ohio.
Chair of the OCAGV Board of Trustees, Faith DeNardo, said “we have a public health crisis related to gun violence, yet the data and research continue to be ignored.”
Data from the Ohio Attorney General shows that from 2015 through 2020, 23,370 concealed carry gun licenses were denied, suspended or revoked – an average of 3,900 each year.
Further, OCAGV is deeply disturbed that by signing permitless concealed carry into law – rather than using his right to veto it – Governor DeWine has also ensured the numbers of injuries and deaths from gun violence in the state he vowed to uphold when becoming Governor and again after the Dayton shooting will continue to grow. “Shamefully, Governor DeWine has just signed a bill to eliminate essential restrictive measures for those who carry weapons, but put the public at risk. As in other states with such legislation, Ohio will now likely see even more needless gun deaths,” said OCAGV board member Rosie Craig.
It is ironic that in 2005, DeWine, who was then a U.S. Senator, had Ohio’s best interests at heart when he fought for Ohioans in the U.S. Senate against the gun lobby. Today it is quite the opposite as DeWine appears very willing to embrace an Ohio Statehouse that appears to be controlled and led by the same gun lobby.
Toby Hoover, founder of OCAGV sums it up, saying “Mike DeWine took another step today in putting our families in danger by allowing more guns on the streets of Ohio. As a gun violence survivor, I am insulted that as Governor, he is defining the culture of violence in Ohio by showing our children that one must be armed and fearful. I am ashamed of the Governor and the legislators that are putting themselves and their fears first. It is time to put our kids first instead of the gun lobby that our legislators so actively partner with.”