COLUMBUS, Ohio (WYTV) – “Commonsense gun laws make sense,” said Ohio Governor John Kasich in a cable network news interview this weekend. But don’t expect him to come out and endorse any particular effort anytime soon.
According to the Press Secretary for the Governor, it is their policy that they do not comment on pending legislation.
We were reminded of this fact when we reached out to Kasich after Democratic State Senators Michael Skindell and Charleta Tavares introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would ban assault rifles in Ohio.
The legislation would make possessing or acquiring an assault weapon a felony. The bill defines an assault weapon as an automatic firearm, or semi-automatic firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine with the capacity of accepting 10 or more cartridges. It also lists a semi-automatic firearm with a fixed magazine with the capacity of accepting 10 or more cartridges, according to a spokesman with the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus.
We asked Governor Kasich if this is the kind of law he was talking about but didn’t receive an answer for or against the measure.
With the House of Representatives not meeting for voting sessions this week, we attempted to connect with Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger at his weekly Rules and Reference Committee, which he chairs. The committee decides which other committee will hear testimony on the bills introduced by lawmakers in the General Assembly.
The Speaker appeared to be in a good mood when he arrived, holding the door open for a few of his colleagues but after a brief discussion with the vice chairman of his committee, Rosenberger left the room on his phone. The vice chairman took over the meeting and Rosenberger never returned.
This is not uncommon; the Speaker of the House is incredibly busy. However, his departure left us without an opportunity to discuss with him Kasich’s statements form over the weekend.
We wanted to ask him about how he planned to honor them, or if he already had some lawmakers working on common sense gun laws.
Brad Miller, Rosenberger’s press secretary was able to provide us with a written statement regarding Kasich’s cable interview comments.
“Over the past seven years, the legislature has worked with Governor Kasich to promote safe, responsible gun ownership in our state. We all share the desire of making our schools and communities safer, and it is important that all ideas as to how to achieve that are brought forward and heard. Moving forward, the Speaker will meet with the caucus to share ideas that continue to uphold Ohioans’ Second Amendment rights and ensure the safety and well-being of children and families,” said Miller.
A few hours later Senate President Larry Obhof echoed a desire to work with Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko on legislation that may continue to strengthen school safety.
What Governor Kasich thinks about all those efforts we won’t know until he signs a bill into law; or as he phrased it, puts out his own stuff.