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Kasich signs orders on gun background checks, tracking

Posted at 5:01 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 18:48:35-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed two executive orders intended to improve controls on gun buyers in the state.

The Republican governor signed the orders Monday in the wake of inaction by the GOP-controlled Legislature on recommendations of his bipartisan working group on gun issues.

The first order permanently establishes a compliance working group to keep trying to close gaps in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. The second establishes emergency rules requiring law enforcement agencies around the state to upload protection orders and warrants into the statewide law enforcement database.

Both orders follow recommendations of a political diverse panel Kasich established to find common ground on gun policy. His statement says the orders will make it harder for dangerous people to get guns.

On Tuesday, Kasich said anyone with a restraining order against them shouldn't have a gun. Some law enforcement agencies and courts are already automatically reporting those people to the database, but others are not.

"There's gaps in our system," Kasich said. "That information ... needs to be uploaded to those people who are gun dealers, need to know who they should sell a gun to and who they shoudn't."

A statewide audit ordered by Kasich found those gaps. In many cases, names of people facing protection orders and warrants weren't getting into the statewide law enforcement database, called LEADS. The report shows 136 law enforcement agencies weren't entering them. 

Many agencies reported to the state that they don't have the staff, time or access to the database.

When names enter the state database, they're searchable through the national background check system, too. 

Courts in Ohio are required to update the banned buyers list each month. Only 49 percent self-reported they were doing that. The state compliance report shows that no Greater Cincinnati courts are considered non-compliant. 

Kasich has supported a proposal in the legislature that would further change gun laws in Ohio, including banning bump stocks and giving judges the power to temporarily take guns away from potentially dangerous people. But House Bill 585 appears dead in the water.