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GOP Ohio governor’s gun plan doesn’t include ‘red-flag’ law

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s new proposals to address Ohio gun violence in the wake of the Dayton mass shooting don’t include background-check requirements for gun sales or a so-called red-flag law to restrict firearms for people perceived as threats, despite his earlier support of those ideas.

Instead, his administration detailed legislative proposals Monday intended to increase and improve background checks and ensure people don’t have firearms if a court has deemed them to be a danger. Among other changes, the “STRONG Ohio” plan also would increase penalties for anyone who provides a gun to someone who is legally prohibited from having one, and require that certain types of protection orders and arrest warrants be reflected in state and federal law enforcement databases to ensure more accurate background checks.

DeWine said his team consulted with city leaders, lawmakers and many others and worked to produce proposals that he believes will get results, protect people’s rights — and be able to pass the Republican-led Legislature.

“They do not infringe on Second Amendment rights for anyone who has a legal right to own a gun,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said. “What the plan does is put dangerous people — criminals — on notice that if you’re a threat to yourself or others, you are not legally allowed to possess weapons, and we’re going to build a system to ensure that you don’t.”

Husted said the idea of a red-flag law that still protected gun owners’ due process proved “inadequate and unworkable” because of the time required for due process and the danger that could pose for law enforcement and because removing a weapon doesn’t ensure the subject won’t harm themselves or others. So-called red flag laws allow a court to temporarily seize guns from people believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

The news conference included the legislation’s sponsor, GOP Sen. Matt Dolan, of Chagrin Falls, along with supportive statements from Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Whitney Austin, a gun owner seriously wounded in a Cincinnati shooting last year.

Whaley, a Democrat, recalled how a crowd chanted “Do something!” as she and DeWine attended a vigil after a shooter in Dayton killed nine people in August. The new proposals don’t do enough but are an “important start,” she said.

“This is the first time in my career that I have witnessed our state government seriously consider restrictions on access to guns instead of allowing more dangerous weapons in our communities,” Whaley said.

The top Democrat in the House, Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes, of Akron, objected more bluntly.

“When the people told the governor to do something, they didn’t mean to do just anything,” she said in a statement. “Ohioans want common sense gun safety. STRONG Ohio is weak.”

Advocates from the anti-violence group Everytown for Gun Safety also criticized DeWine, saying he abandoned his earlier proposals and offered legislation that lacks needed changes.

Another group, Ohioans for Gun Safety, said it applauds DeWine’s proposal but will continue its separate, ongoing push to use a petition process to change state law to require background checks on virtually all gun sales.


INDOT spring, summer road work to limit travel on I-65, I-70

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Sections of Interstates 65 and 70 will have construction projects that will restrict traffic from April-November, the Indiana Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

Most of the central Indiana projects will be in the Indianapolis area. In most of the weather-dependent projects, traffic will be shifted to one side of the interstate, usually creating two lanes in each direction. The other side of the interstate will be shut down completely as contractors work. 

Outside of Marion County from April-December, patching and resurfacing will limit traffic on I-70 from Post Road in Indianapolis to the Indiana-Ohio state line. One lane will be open in each direction at all times during the summer. There will be ramp closings. Contractors will work in multiple 10-mile zones in one direction at a time. 

Here are the Indianapolis area projects:

Interstate 65 at Keystone Avenue: A bridge will be replaced from April-November. Southbound lanes will initially be rerouted onto northbound lanes. Three lanes will be available in each direction during rush hours, but only two lanes at other times.

Interstate 70 from I-456 on the east side to Post Road: Night and weekend lane restrictions will occur from April-October.

Interstate 65 at Southport Road: A bridge will be replaced from May-November. Three lanes will be open in each direction. The ramp onto I-65 northbound will be closed.

Interstate 70 from I-465 on west side to downtown South Split: Eastbound lanes will be closed from May 26-July 3. Westbound lanes will be closed from Aug. 3-Sept. 4. There will be ramp closings and local street closings as well.

Interstate 70 from downtown north split to I-465 on the east side: Eastbound lanes will be closed from May 26-July 3. Westbound lanes will be closed Aug. 3 to Sept. 4. During the closings, a limited number of lanes will be maintained in each direction.

Interstate 70 from Post Road in Indianapolis to Mount Comfort Road in Hancock County: Eastbound lanes will be closed from May 26-July 3. Westbound lanes will be closed Aug. 3-Sept. 4. During the closings, a limited number of lanes will be maintained in each direction.

Interstate 70 from Ronald Reagan Parkway to State Road 267 in Plainfield: From June-October westbound lanes will be closed for patching. In the usual eastbound lanes, three lanes will be designated as eastbound and two lanes as westbound. Also, the ramp from State Road 267 to I-70 eastbound will be closed.