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Government & Politics

Northeast Ohio Legislator Sponsors Governor's Gun Reform Legislation

A photo of Matt Dolan
State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) says he's seeking meaningful change that the legislature will approve.

The gun violence bill that Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled two months after the Dayton mass shooting will soon have its first hearing in the Ohio Senate. The bill has been criticized by some gun rights advocates for going too far and some gun control activists for not going far enough. Its sponsor is defending the plan, which does not include mandatory background checks but does offer a version of a red flag gun seizure law.

State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) said there’s a simple reason the required background checks plan DeWine called for right after the Dayton mass shooting isn’t in his bill.

“It wouldn't pass, wouldn't pass in the legislature. So I want to make meaningful change that can pass.”

There is a voluntary background check for private gun sales, and Dolan said sellers won’t risk the three-year prison sentence that’s in the bill for selling a gun to somebody that they don't know.

The bill also would expand the law allowing for involuntary hospitalization of people with mental illness to include substance abuse issues. But Dolan admits there’s a problem with enough bed space. He said they’re working on a bill to allow for alternatives for people sent to treatment facilities through the courts.