COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine touched on his viewpoints regarding firearms and abortion as the nation grapples with a mass shooting and the state prepares for a vote on whether to safeguard abortion rights.
DeWine spoke with NBC4’s Colleen Marshall via video conference Thursday, describing a “red flag” law that he pursued previously after a 2019 mass shooting in Dayton. Maine, the location of a Wednesday night shooting that left 18 people dead, passed a similar “yellow flag” law years prior.
“Which simply says that if a family or anyone has someone that they know or someone who they love, who is an alcoholic or drug addict or might have a mental health issue and they have guns … You would have the right to go into court, have a hearing, and have due process,” DeWine said. “If the judge determines that person is dangerous to themselves or dangerous to other people, they would be able to have those guns removed until that person no longer was dangerous.”
DeWine said the Ohio legislature did not approve his proposal for the “red flag” law, but the latest shooting has him wanting lawmakers to reexamine the idea. He commented that in his past experience as a prosecutor and attorney general, he saw cases where that was needed.
“We need to find a solution to this, and I think that what I have proposed to the legislature would, in fact, make sense,” DeWine said. “I think it’s clearly constitutional, it protects the Second Amendment right. Nobody is going take guns away from anybody, except through a court hearing where there’s due process. And that proposal is still on the table.”
Governor on abortion
The governor has voiced opposition to Ohio Issue 1, with which voters will decide on Nov. 7 whether or not to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.
DeWine said the bill goes too far with protecting access to abortion, while its supporters say the so-called “heartbeat bill” he signed into law goes too far. That law — blocked from enforcement temporarily while making its way in state courts — outlaws abortions after six weeks gestation, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
The governor is still working against Issue 1 and personally supports the law’s restriction after six weeks in a pregnancy, but said he’s heard from Ohioans regarding a need for exceptions for rape or incest. He thinks a middle ground could come from a new, different amendment that voters could introduce rather than Issue 1.
“That pressure, that fact that that exists, I think will impact the legislature,” DeWine said. “Let’s say the legislature doesn’t do anything, certainly people can then go back and there will be great pressure on to have a constitutional amendment that does in fact reflect where the majority of people are in Ohio.”
DeWine’s full interview with Marshall will air at 10 a.m. Sunday on NBC4’s The Spectrum.