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Ohio gun laws major topic in race for governor

Gov. DeWine said he is supportive of expanding the state's "pink slip" law while Democratic candidate Nan Whaley supports universal background checks.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo by an 18-year-old who threatened his high school a year before has raised questions about whether New York State's so-called red-flag law would have stopped him from owning a gun. 

Ohio attempted to pass something similar. In October 2019, Gov. Mike DeWine decided not to ask the legislature to pass it, saying he didn't think it would pass the Republican-controlled Statehouse. 

Instead of an extreme risk protection order law that would remove guns from people deemed dangerous, DeWine proposed expanding the state's "pink slip" system, which places mentally ill Ohioans in hospitals for up to 72 hours, denying them access to a gun. 

The idea died in the legislature. 

DeWine said he continues to support the expansion of the pink-slip law.

"My proposal provided for extensive due process. No one was going to take away anyone's gun until they go in front of a judge. A due process. I don't like to call it a red flag because it's not. It's different and it was unique and that's what we presented to the state legislature," DeWine said.

Since the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 19 states and Washington D.C. have enacted some type of red flag law. The other states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. 

Gun violence remains a major topic in the race for governor.

Democrat challenger Nan Whaley (D-Dayton) was asked what she would do about gun violence in the state. 

She tells 10TV she supports universal background checks, and said in a statement "We also need to make sure that those who shouldn't have access to a gun, like children or those with mental health issues, can't get one.” 

DeWine says under his administration he's given a billion dollars to schools to help them identify children who are struggling with mental illness. He says he also created a working group that monitors social media posts of students to stop a violent act from happening at school or somewhere else.

DeWine has since signed the permitless carry law, which allows legal gun owners to carry a gun with no training, and the stand your ground law, which allows someone who has the legal right to be somewhere that they no longer have the duty to retreat if they feel their life is in danger.  

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