COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN/AP) – Republican Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio should start requiring the entry of certain protection orders and arrest warrants for top-tier, violent crimes into background check systems that help notify law enforcement and gun sellers about potentially dangerous people.
DeWine said Wednesday too much information is missing from those state and federal systems, and that’s a safety issue.
“I don’t think we know the dollar amount yet but let me just say, the essential function of government is to protect people and so we’re going to do this, frankly, no matter what the cost is. We have to do this. We have to get this right.”
He said Ohio is starting work to create a simple, state-funded system for police and courts to add information about warrants and protection orders to the background check systems, and he’ll ask lawmakers to make it mandatory.
DeWine is putting Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in charge of developing the technology for the improved system.
Husted was in our newsroom Wednesday to talk about why they say the upcoming changes are necessary.
“That’s a paper process and, unfortunately, that paper usually goes into a pile rather than a file,” he said. “In many cases, they’re not being entered into the system so that when you do the background check, nobody knows that you are actually prohibited from having a firearm.”
Husted said the plan could create a new digital database, similar to one put together for voter registrations.
He said the administration had been working on this issue for months before the mass shooting in Dayton weeks ago.
Husted said the goal is to ensure law-abiding Ohioans are able to keep their guns, while preventing criminals from getting them.