Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Thursday that his office has rejected a petition to get a background-checks measure placed on the 2020 ballot.
As The Ohio Star reported last week, a group called Ohioans for Gun Safety filed a petition with the Attorney General’s Office to have its “Act to Close Loopholes in Background Checks on Gun Sales” placed on the state ballot in 2020.
The act would have required that “sales and transfers of firearms in the State of Ohio be conducted by a federally licensed firearms dealer and that sales or transfer of firearms be conditioned on the person receiving the firearms being subjected to a background check pursuant to federal law.”
The first step in the ballot-initiative process requires certification from the Attorney General’s Office, which Ohioans for Gun Safety failed to secure Thursday.
“The attorney general’s role is to determine whether the petition summary is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed law,” Yost said in a press release. “The summary was rejected for two reasons: the summary does not accurately reflect the sales or transfers to which the proposed newly enacted statute would apply; the summary fails to address the number and extent of exceptions that would apply to the proposed statute.”
“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed statute,” Yost added.
But Ohioans for Gun Safety is vowing to continue the effort and claims it has the support of Ohioans.
“This is not uncommon for the Ohio Attorney General to find minor fault with petition language, and we are going to make the appropriate changes and then hit the streets to collect another 1,000 valid signatures,” the group’s spokesperson, Dennis Willard, told The Vindicator.
“Ohioans want to close loopholes in existing law so that when someone buys a gun at a gun show or privately, they go through a background check,” Willard added. “It’s a simple, straight-forward, common sense plan to reduce gun violence and save lives.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background Photo “Ohio Capitol” by Alexander Smith. CC BY-SA 3.0.