Ohio lawmakers can move quickly on a problem, especially if it relates to guns.
One of the first bills to pass the Senate this session corrects an error with a gun bill passed last year that, gun supporters say, would have banned a number of legal guns in Ohio. The bill placed a variety of long guns into a prohibited category, potentially including AK-47s, long guns with a pistol grip and some shotguns used in competitive shooting.
"Clearly this was not the legislative intent of House Bill 228," said Sen. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, before the Senate voted 24-8 on a bill to fix the problem. Democrats opposed the measure.
House Bill 228 was a wide-ranging gun bill that further preempted local gun-related laws and shifted the burden of proof in self-defense situations, requiring prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person did not act in self-defense when taking lethal action.
The problem involved a section of the bill that references any firearm of at least 26 inches approved for sale by the Gun Control Act of 1968 but not regulated under the National Firearms Act.
Under the House-passed bill, the provision was located in a section titled "dangerous ordnance does not include any of the following." When rewritten in the Senate, that provision was mistakenly moved to a section titled, "Dangerous ordnance means any of the following."
The Senate version was put into law after lawmakers overrode a veto by Gov. John Kasich, who was disappointed that legislative Republicans declined to approve any of his proposed gun safety measures.
The Senate bill passed Tuesday as an emergency, meaning, if also approved by the House, it would take effect immediately, beating the March 28 effective date of House Bill 228.
In other business Tuesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 6, which sets guidelines for the temporary placement of children with host families when a parent is in a crisis situation.
"This legislation will ensure that more Ohio children and their parents are given opportunities for healing and a second chance," said Sen. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark.
The bill now goes to the House.