Skip to main content
State Seal State Seal State Seal
Home Button Home Button Home Button

Reps. Robinson, Isaacsohn Introduce Bill Requiring Universal Background Checks for All Firearms Purchases

Bill dropped after Gun Violence Prevention Summit, Commonsense Solutions to Keep Communities Safe
February 15, 2024
Phillip M. Robinson, Jr. News

COLUMBUS - State Reps. Phil Robinson (D-Solon) and Dani Isaacsohn (D-Cincinnati) today introduced the Universal Background Checks Act, legislation that will close the background check loophole and require background checks for all firearms purchases. 

“Closing the loophole in the background check process will help reduce violent crime, deter self-harm, and support law enforcement’s efforts to keep dangerous weapons out of dangerous hands,” said Rep. Robinson. “I’m tired of hearing about mass shootings, school shootings, and children dying from gun violence weekly, sometimes daily, in Ohio and across the country. Even if passing universal background checks only saved one life in Ohio, it would be worth it.”

“The vast majority of Ohioans agree: you should be required to pass a background check in order to buy a weapon,” said Rep. Isaacsohn. “No other developed country has the same rate of gun violence as we do here, and it’s time that we make better choice to keep Ohio families safe.” 

This legislation will require a background check to be completed at the time of purchase. Private sellers will complete transfers at either a federally licensed firearms dealer or at a local law enforcement office, who already conduct background checks. Federal firearms listings indicate that every Ohioan lives within 10 miles of a gun dealer, with over 2,200 unique gun dealers in the state.

Between 2012 to 2021, the rate of gun deaths increased 52% in Ohio, compared to a 39% increase nationwide. In Ohio, 78% of female intimate partner homicide victims are killed by guns, compared to 66% nationwide. Firearms are also the leading cause of death among children and teens in Ohio. Black children and teens in Ohio are 5 times more likely than their white peers to die by guns.

83% of Ohioans and nearly 80% of gun-owning Ohioans agree that background checks should be expanded, and this bill will help law enforcement keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other criminals. 

The bill’s introduction coincides with the inaugural Gun Violence Prevention Summit (GVPS) hosted Thursday by the House Democratic Caucus at the Ohio Statehouse. The summit’s attendees included numerous local, state, and national groups, including the Brady Campaign, Moms Demand Action, and the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.

As part of its People First agenda, House Democrats introduced several new legislative solutions around the GVPS promoting gun safety measures supported by a bipartisan majority of Ohioans. Other gun safety legislation introduced today includes:

  • Keeping Our Survivors Safe Act (Reps. Grim, Munira)
  • Declaring Gun Violence a Public Health Crisis (Rep. Brewer)
  • Commonsense Concealed Carry (Reps. Brown, Isaacsohn)
  • Ohio Task Force on Gun Violence (Rep. Brewer)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pictures from Thursday’s GVPS courtesy of Ohio House Democrats can be found here, and a graphic listing the five new pieces of legislation House Democrats introduced this week is attached to this press release.  Additionally, the full GVPS video can be viewed and downloaded here.