Fourteen Ohio House Republicans have signed on to a bill that would allow the state to reject federal gun laws and rulings state lawmakers feel violate the Second Amendment.
House Bill 62, named “Designate Ohio a Second Amendment Sanctuary State,” is sponsored by freshman Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta), along with Rep. Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland). Loychik calls it a "safe haven" act, and said it doesn’t block federal guns laws and rulings, but puts up roadblocks to enforcement.
“If the federal government wanted to come in and try to mandate those things, it would essentially have to go through the supremacy clause, and then it would be taken to the Supreme Court. So it’s more of a barrier," Loychik said.
An analysis by the legislature’s researchers agrees provisions of the bill that nullify federal acts and orders, or prohibit their enforcement, could be challenged in court.
It also notes two people charged in Kansas with selling unregistered firearms claimed they were protected under a similar law there. A federal court disagreed but didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the Kansas law.
Republicans in the Ohio House have also removed budget provisions from Gov. Mike DeWine’s that would have expanded background checks for gun sales and increased penalties for gun crimes.
Ohio Democrats have wanted more stringent gun laws since DeWine first proposed his STRONG Ohio gun control plan after the Dayton mass shooting in 2019. But they've criticized DeWine's move to strip the gun law changes from the budget, saying it's clear there's no plan to address those ideas in a stand-alone bill.