Ohio Senate Passes Bill That Would Ban Gun Seizures During Emergencies

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
October 25, 2021 Updated: October 25, 2021

The Ohio Senate has passed legislation that would bar the government from seizing guns during emergencies, moving the bill to the state House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 185 was approved 23-7 by the Republican-controlled state Senate late last week.

The legislation (pdf) would insert provisions into state law that supporters say would guarantee people’s Second Amendment rights. For instance, it would bar government officials from prohibiting or curtailing “the otherwise lawful possession, carrying, display, sale, transportation, transfer, defensive use, or other lawful use” of firearms, other deadly weapons, and ammunition at any time, even during wars, riots, or other emergencies.

“The Second Amendment does not have a pandemic or natural disaster clause and this bill makes Ohioans safer by ensuring that they have the means to protect themselves and their families during any declared emergencies that may come up,” state Sen. Tim Schaffer, a Republican who sponsored the legislation, told colleagues before the vote.

“However, this bill does not add any additional gun rights. It simply clarifies that people cannot have their rights taken away during times of declared emergencies,” he added.

Schaffer referenced how Americans in various states, including Louisiana residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, have had their firearms seized. He wants to protect Ohio residents against that.

Detractors included Ohio Sen. Cecil Thomas, a Democrat who said the bill was “basically denying the local government their ability to protect their community as they see appropriate.”

Thomas saw the legislation as part of what he described as a “constant chipping away” of local governments’ rights to self-govern.

But Republicans have strong control of the state Senate, and prevailed in a party-line vote.

The legislation now goes to the Ohio House, which Republicans control 64-35.

Republicans also hold the governor’s mansion.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.