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Ohio House moves closer to pushing aside federal gun laws

Bill would eliminate references to the United States Code as they relate to gun laws in Ohio

Published: November 24, 2023 1:47pm

(The Center Square) -

Ohio gun owners moved a step closer to guarantees that federal laws could not be used to take away those guns.

The Ohio House Government Oversight Committee recently advanced the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which would stop Ohio law enforcement agencies from enforcing what the act calls unconstitutional federal gun control laws, executive orders or agency rule interpretations.

House Bill 51 has yet to be scheduled for a full House vote. If it passes, it would then move to the Senate.

“This Second Amendment Preservation Act protects one of our most fundamental rights as citizens,” said Rep. Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta. “This bill allows Ohio’s law enforcement to carry out Ohio’s laws when it comes to owning guns, ammunition, and accessories. If any of these protections are violated, the bill permits an Ohioan to sue agencies whose employees have violated the Act.”

The bill would also eliminate references to the United States Code as they relate to gun laws in Ohio, making Ohio law the standard for people in Ohio.

“This important legislation protects the rights of all Ohioans,” said Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland. “This is a straightforward bill that will ensure Ohioan’s Second Amendment rights are not infringed upon.”

State prosecuting attorneys opposed the bill in committee, along with Brady United Against Gun Violence, the Ohio Association of Police Chiefs, the Ohio Mayors Alliance and the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein called the bill unconstitutional and said it would lead to endless litigation.

“HB51 is an unconstitutional statute that will allow individuals who have been convicted of domestic violence to take advantage of the state’s permitless concealed carry law,” Klein testified. "It will destroy the ability of law enforcement agencies to work with their federal counterparts. It will open the State, its municipalities and all of their employees up to endless litigation with the real threat of damages and attorneys’ fees. Finally, HB 51 embraces the discredited nullification language used by South Carolina and other states during the antebellum era. This terrible bill should be rejected."