DeWine looking forward to funds for mental health services new gun control law will bring Ohio

XENIA — Gov. Mike DeWine, in assessing what the new gun control bill could mean for Ohio, said that while he’s waiting to see how the federal government implements everything the legislation calls for, he is looking forward to the billions of dollars the law will provide for mental health services.

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“Whenever we can get money to help with mental health we want to do that. It’s been a major initiative of our administration,” DeWine told News Center 7′s James Rider on Monday. “Not just for worry about people who might cause harm to themselves or someone else. We have significant mental health problems.”

The governor noted there are a couple of gun control bills he thinks the state legislature should be able to pass, but he has been working to do what he can for the vexing issue of gun control.

“One of the problems we found is that most outstanding criminal warrants are not entered into the national criminal database, which means if you have someone in Dayton and they go across into Indiana and they’ve got an outstanding warrant, well if it’s not in the national database, you’re not going to know that,” he said.

" So when they go to buy a gun in Indianapolis they’re going to be able to buy a gun when they really shouldn’t be able to.”

The House on June 24 passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act 234 to 193, which included 14 Republicans who sided with Democrats. President Joe Biden signed it into law June 25.

The final bill does not include a ban on the sale of large capacity magazines. It also does not include increasing the minimum age to purchase an assault or assault-style weapon. It does, among other things, close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to prevent convicted domestic abusers from purchasing a firearm for five years. It also provides $750 million in grants to incentivize states to begin crisis intervention programs.

Despite all the excitement about the bipartisan federal gun control bill being the most significant gun control bill in three decades, the action by Congress doesn’t say much, said Thomas Hagel, a professor emeritus of law at the University of Dayton.

“Quite frankly I don’t see that as a major step in regard to addressing the problems with all the guns we have in our society but at least it’s a step,” he told News Center 7′s Rider.

There is a lot more than needs to be done, he said, noting, “I think the problem with gun violence in our society is so much more complex than what quite frankly can be dealt with in the legal system.”

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