Aug. 7 (UPI) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine introduced a series of proposals to reduce gun violence on Tuesday, in the wake of the shooting in Dayton that left nine people dead.
The 17-point plan focuses on expanding requirements for background checks, expanding punishment for illegally obtaining a firearm, identifying and monitoring potentially harmful individuals, expanding mental health care and increasing security in public locations.
“Gun violence doesn’t just take the form of mass shootings, people are victims every day in Ohio and across the country,” DeWine said. “I believe that this is both a public safety issue and an individual wellness issue — we must address both sides to help solve the problem. It’s time to do something and that is exactly what we are going to do.”
Nine people and the gunman, Connor Betts were killed during the shooting near a bar in downtown Dayton on Sunday, a day after 20 people were killed in a shooting at a Texas Walmart.
Both Venezuela and Uruguay issued travel advisories about visiting the United States on Monday, warning of violence and hate crimes in the wake of the shootings.
DeWine called for the state general assembly to pass a law requiring background checks for all firearms within the state with some exceptions, including gifts between family members.
He also proposed increased penalties for felons and violent felons who illegally possess firearms and possessing a firearm that was illegally obtained by another party as well as so-called “straw purchases” in which a person purchases or gives a gun to another individual and additional penalties for those who provide firearms to minors.
Additionally, DeWine called for increased penalties for those brandishing a gun.
The proposal also included measures to remove guns from people who may be dangerous such as introducing a so-called “safety protection order” that would allow law enforcement to remove a person’s firearms and provide that person with mental health treatment.
He also said the Ohio Department of Public Safety will expand its ability to monitor and track potential threats on social media, in addition to proposing implementing a school tip line, programs for parents to identify potential warning signs in their children and investing $675 in mental health services for schools.
DeWine also said the state Department of Medicaid is investing $15 million in telehealth mental health services for students and that the state will work to free space in psychiatric hospitals by reducing the number of people placed in them by court order.
The state’s budget would also provide $9 million to non-profits and religious organizations to secure their facilities.