Dem Lawmakers Propose "Safe At Home" Bill To Keep Guns Out Of DV Offenders' Hands
Legislation would strengthen victim protections, separate firearms from violent offenders, say lawmakers

State Reps. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Janine R. Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today introduced legislation aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence from gun violence by requiring individuals convicted of a domestic violence crime or served with a civil protection order to turn over their firearms to law enforcement.

“No woman should have to live in fear that the ex-boyfriend or ex-husband they filed a protection order against will be able to track her down and harm or even kill her with a firearm. This legislation will protect vulnerable Ohioans by closing the dangerous gaps in Ohio law that make it easy for domestic abusers to access guns,” said Antonio. “The General Assembly should act without delay to protect victims of domestic abuse by supporting this common-sense policy that will save lives in our state.”

The “Safe at Home” bill mirrors federal law, which prohibits gun possession by criminals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges and by those subject to permanent protection orders. The Cleveland-area lawmakers’ proposal would also allow judicial discretion in cases of temporary protection orders—allowing a judge to order the surrender of firearms while a temporary restraining order is in effect.

“The presence of a firearm in a home where domestic violence exists can transform a simple argument into murder in a matter of seconds,” said Boyd. “It is our responsibility as legislators to speak on behalf of the thousands of victims of domestic violence—those whom we've lost, and those this bill might save—and enact policies that make everyone more safe.”

The Center for American Progress reports the most dangerous time period for victims in abusive relationships is immediately after they file a civil protection order. The “Safe at Home” legislation creates a state-level enforcement mechanism that would require an individual to transfer their firearms to a law enforcement agency or a federally licensed firearms dealer within twenty-four hours of the issuance of a court-order.

“When do we start to take the death of women seriously in Ohio?” said Nancy Neylon, Executive Director of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. “By separating domestic abusers from their firearms, we can potentially save lives.”

The bill now awaits its assignment to a House Committee for further consideration.

Featured Posts

Ohio AG Needs To Open Independent Harassment Investigation Of Bill Seitz, Lawmakers Say


State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) today asked* Ohio Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine to hire an objective third party to reopen the harassment investigation of Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati). The letter comes after it was reported that Taft Stettinius & Hollister, the law firm which conducted the investigation, donated to Seitz’ campaign and had employed Seitz for 36 years. The investigation concluded that the allegations of inappropriate conduct made against Seitz by a female House employee did not constitute sexual harassment according to the House’s anti-harassment policy and said the complaint may have been politically motivated. The basis of the findings, however, directly conflict with the AG’s anti-sexual harassment training given to state lawmakers and staff prior to the event.


Ohio Republican Majority Writes Discrimination Into Law


State Reps. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today expressed disappointment with the passage of House Bill (HB) 36, which writes discrimination into Ohio law by allowing ministers not to solemnize marriages that are contrary to their personal beliefs.


Antonio, Burke Ask Kasich To Keep Local Behavioral Health Youth Program Running


State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and state Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) today wrote a letter* to Gov. John Kasich asking him to reconsider his administration’s move to shutter Cuyahoga County’s local Positive Education Program (PEP) Connections, a behavioral health program that serves some 500 high-risk youth each day.


Antonio Responds To Latest Ohio Opioid Crisis Report


The lead Democrat on the Ohio House’s Health Committee, Democratic Whip and state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), today responded to the latest dire report on Ohio’s statewide opioid overdose and addiction emergency.

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

The report points to low education levels and limited job opportunities as central underlying causes of opioid abuse.