Lawmakers react to pressure.
Former US Senator Everett Dirksen may have phrased it best when he said, “When I feel the heat, I see the light.”
Well, let me tell you, lawmakers in the Ohio General Assembly are seeing the light right now on fixing HB228’s huge blunder — especially in the Ohio House!
A few days ago, before Ohio Gun Owners got involved, the Ohio General Assembly wasn’t making any noise when it came to a legislative “fix.”
But last Thursday night, when OGO first called attention to this problem, that began to change.
OGO went to work and sent out the word, fired up our advocacy programs, direct mail programs, social media programs and email programs and began mobilizing gun owners across Ohio to take action – and goodness have you ever!
As of early this afternoon, over 17,000 emails from gun owners like you from all across our state have poured into the Ohio General Assembly, insisting that they take action.
In other words, they’re feeling the heat and they’re seeing the light!
Tuesday afternoon Senator Kristina Roegner introduced Senate Bill 53, a fix that included the all-important “emergency clause” that forces the bill into enactment immediately upon the governor’s signature.
The chairman of the committee in which the bill resides tells us that he anticipates the bill to be voted out of committee next week, so we’ll be paying attention to that.
The bigger problem we’ve been focused in the last 24 hours is whether or not the House legislation (HB86) would have the “emergency clause” language in it as well, which is required if gun owners are to be successfully prevented from becoming felons on March 28th if the bill doesn’t go into immediate effect.
You see, normal legislation has a 90-day “enactment period.” A law usually has to wait 90 days after the governor’s signature before it officially becomes law.
The exception to that rule is legislation that has an “emergency clause.” Emergency legislation goes into effect immediately upon a governor’s signature, but it also requires a two-thirds majority vote in order to pass.
But as of last night, HB86 did not have that emergency clause, because the rumor was that there wasn’t the two-thirds majority vote necessary.
Throughout this entire process, we never took our foot off the gas and continually urged you all to be in constant contact with your Representatives and Senators, demanding a fix with emergency language in it.
Incredibly, during today’s House Federalism Committee hearing, your hard work paid off.
Chairman John Becker (R-Cincinnati) gaveled the committee to order, and Representative Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) introduced HB86 to the committee.
After going back and forth with several anti-gun Democrats, the sponsor testimony ended and the good part began.
The committee’s vice chairman, Representative Stoltzfus (R-Minerva) immediately ran an amendment that inserted the emergency clause into the bill!
But even better, only moments later, the committee voted the entire bill out of committee and sent it to the House for a full floor vote!
It was all I could do to stop myself from shouting “hip hip, Hooray!”
HB86 is now ready for a full floor vote in the House, and SB53 is poised for passage through committee next week.
This is happening only because of you, Site. You and thousands like you ARE Ohio Gun Owners.
With nearly 17,000 emails lobbed into the Statehouse in well under a week, your voices are thundering through the halls.
But that’s why we can’t let up for a moment – we need to see this through.
For this bill to be successful, like I said, it needs a two-thirds majority vote.
I know we’ve been asking a lot of you lately, but we need to keep up the pressure as this vote is going to require bipartisan support.
But I have to ask you for more than that.
Sadly, we’ve been forced to spend considerable amounts of resources we had budgeted for our upcoming fight to pass Constitutional Carry and Stand-Your-Ground.
When this fight is over, the last thing we want to do is stop our momentum by having to recapitalize for another engagement.
Thank you for all you do to fight for our gun rights.
Chris Dorr, Director
Ohio Gun Owners