POWELL, Ohio — Ohioans for Concealed Carry (OFCC) welcomed Madison Gesiotto to their 16th annual picnic in Liberty Township Park on Saturday. The fun-filled day included good food, dozens of 2nd Amendment supporters, prizes and speakers whose timing could not have been better.
Gesiotto, a former Miss Ohio who met President Donald Trump during her reign, is an attorney, a TV commentator, a columnist, co-chair of Women for Trump and a member of the Trump Campaign Advisory Board. Those last two positions were of particular interest to the gun-owning crowd at a time when President Trump is discussing gun-control legislation.
She spoke about the importance of eliminating gun-free zones. “Push against it, rail against gun-free zones,” she said.
Her experience with the failure of gun-free zones is three-fold. For one, Gesiotto was threatened on The Ohio State University campus for voicing her pro-life views, yet had no ability to protect herself because guns were banned on campus. She also attended the school when Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Somalian inspired by ISIS, attacked and injured multiple students with his car and a knife. And she remembers what happened to Reagan Tokes – a horrendous crime just off campus that, like the others, possibly could have been stopped if concealed carry had been legal there.
Americans should be empowered to defend themselves, not legally unable to do so. https://t.co/saJmyCfo13
— Madison Gesiotto (@madisongesiotto) August 4, 2019
“I was with the President yesterday,” she told the group. “One thing I know about the President, he’s a great listener.” She believes he is getting good advice about background checks and red flag laws, two areas of great concern to audience members. “I really don’t think this [implementation of red flag] will be the ultimate conclusion.” She emphasized that Donald Trump Jr. is one the strongest opponents to red flag laws and has his father’s ear.
“In a DUI, we blame the driver. In a bombing we blame the bomber. In a shooting we blame the gun,” Gesiotto stated. And to stop the massive push for gun control that’s happening, she encouraged all attendees to hold each and every elected official accountable. “Remember,” she said, “they work for us; we don’t work for them…voice your opinions on this issue.”
Jeff Garvas, founder and president of OFCC, and Coordinator Dave Ragle spoke with The Ohio Star prior to Madison’s speech. Ragle shared the group’s legislative agenda.
Two bills the organization is supporting are House Bill 178 and Senate Bill 140. House Bill 178 is the Constitutional Carry bill that would eliminate the government-required license for law-abiding citizens to carry concealed. It is bottled up in House Criminal Justice Committee. OFCC helped write the bill.
Senate Bill 140 removes knives from the definition of “weapon” if they are not used as such. It also removes the prohibition for selling certain types of knives such as switchblades and spring-blade knives.
OFCC opposes two bills introduced recently by Democrats in the Ohio House. House Bill 316 would create “extreme risk protection orders,” another name for red flag laws. The bill’s long title says it would “allow family members, household members, and law enforcement officers to obtain a court order that temporarily restricts a person’s access to firearms if that person poses a danger to themselves or others.”
House Bill 317 would “require a firearm transfer to be made through a dealer, through a law enforcement agency, or pursuant to a specified exception, and to require a background check when a firearm is transferred.”
Ragle made it clear that OFCC will be opposing bills that take away Ohioans’ 2nd Amendment rights.
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