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The response casts doubt on whether a plan advanced by Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted has a chance to become law. The House speaker has the power to block or advance any bill.
Householder, who appeared in an election ad wearing camouflage and using a long gun to blast apart a television, is a life member of the National Rifle Association and boasts an A-plus rating from the NRA.
DeWine’s bill is currently pending in the Ohio Senate, where it has received a chilly reception from both sides of the gun debate. DeWine has named it as a top priority for 2020.
The bill seeks to expand the use of “pink slips” to authorize 72-hour hospitalizations of people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others to include those suffering from chronic alcoholism or drug addiction. The bill would also establish a state-run voluntary background check system for people selling firearms to private parties. It also seeks to improve existing background check procedures.
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Not all the messages to Householder were form letters and not all advocated for gun control.
For example, Joseph Rieger wrote in September: “I heard today you are taking up mike dewines guns grabing democrat love affair…I will work hard to defeat in 2020 any republican who works with the democrats to spit on the US Constitution.”
Advocates for gun rights and gun control sent letters to DeWine as well. More than 3,400 people — most from Ohio but some from states such as Arizona, Idaho and Alabama — wrote to DeWine about gun violence, records obtained by the Dayton Daily News show.
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And some Ohioans pushed back against Householder’s form letter. Jasmine Shroff fired back an email from her iPhone, calling the speaker’s response inadequate and praising Dayton police for quickly stopping the shooter.
“The speaker has a responsibility to be part of the solution and not continue to be part of the problem. It is shameful” Shroff wrote.