Skubick: Move is on to expand background checks to include all firearms, not just handguns

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FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2013 file photo Hank Johnson displays his handgun, in Springboro, Ohio. Dealing a blow to gun supporters, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, June 9, 2016, that Americans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

Those who seek to reduce deaths due to guns offered legislation today to expand background checks to all firearms, not just pistols which is the current state law.  

But despite an enthusiastic endorsement from the supporters, there are indications this is not a done deal.

The emotions were running high at the news conference to expand background checks on all firearms as two women shared an embrace in the wake of losing three of their loved ones to gun-related shootings.

Members of the legislative anti-gun violence caucus want to change one word in state law from pistols to firearms.

Currently there are background checks before you can purchase a pistol.

But all other firearms are not covered, including assault rifles and automatic weapons.

Sales at gun shows, on the Internet and person-to-person sales are not subject to the background reviews.

“This is just sensible legislation so that guns don’t get into the hands of people who should not have them,” said Rep. Robert Wittenberg.

The caucus argues there are 1,100 gun-related deaths in this country every year and in the 12 states that have this law, crime rates are down 15%.

Despite the strong support in the audience, there were no Republicans at the event and, in the past, the NRA has had strong influence on what it perceives to be anti-gun proposals.

But lawmaker Rep. Brenda Carter, who lost two relatives, is confident the Republicans will be there.

“When my son died, the Republicans gave me this necklace to me,” said Rep. Carter. “The Republicans have embraced me and the whole House put its arms around me. So this lets me know, I wear this every single day, that this is a human issue, not a partisan issue.”

And if nothing happens, Rep. Carter explains what will happen.

“We will see more deaths,” she declared.

Rep.Wittenberg concedes he does not have Republican support but warns them, “I don’t want to see a tragedy here and we have to say if only we had done something we could have avoided a firearm death.”

The proposal could end up in the Senate Judiciary committee where the Republican chair wants to see the facts that this will save lives.

Skubick: “So you remain to be convinced?”

Sen. Lucido: “I always remain to be convinced.”

Skubick: “On this one you are not there yet?”

Sen. Lucido: “I’ve only got a curtain call from you.  I want to see the full show.”

Bottomline, lawmakers have some work to do.

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