Ohio is the battleground for the nation’s next Special Election for Congress, and gun safety is on the ballot.
On August 7, voters in seven Ohio counties will choose between two candidates with very different approaches to how and whether government can act to reduce gun violence.
In Their Own Words
Troy Balderson, Republican
“We have seen some unimaginable tragedies in our country caused by people who have no absolutely no regard for the law. I do not believe that banning or regulating guns from law-abiding citizens will do anything to end gun violence. We must address mental health and devote resources to identify and treat individuals with mental health problems. While I am supportive of arming teachers, that decision should be left up to individual school districts – not decided as blanket federal policy for the entire nation.” (Columbus Dispatch, July 27)
Danny O’Connor, Democrat
“I grew up in rural Ohio, and I appreciate the sportsmen tradition of our state. I support banning bump stocks, implement universal background checks, and an assault weapons ban. I have been given the recommendation of Moms Demand Action in this campaign.” (Columbus Dispatch, July 27)
On Red Flag Laws
Balderson – “‘I would not take anybody’s guns’ he said, including those who, after obtaining a gun, are found to have a mental health issue. ‘If they’re licensed and lawfully allowed to have a gun, we can’t go confiscate it.'” (Columbus Dispatch, July 2)
O’Connor – “‘Red flag’ laws, why don’t we have them? If someone who commits domestic violence wants a gun, they should be denied. Why don’t we have a ban on people on the no-fly list from owning firearms?” (Columbus Dispatch, July 2)
As a state lawmaker, Balderson has taken some key votes on gun legislation in the Ohio Senate. O’Connor, as Franklin County Recorder, does not have a voting record on the issue.
Guns in Bars – In 2011, Balderson voted for Senate Bill 17, making Ohio one of the handful of states that allow concealed firearms to be carried into places where liquor is served, including bars, sports arenas and nightclubs. [Ohio House of Representatives. Journal. p. 812. 6.15.11.] [Cleveland Plain Dealer. Guns in bars bill passes Ohio House, Senate concurs, Gov. John Kasich to sign it. 6.16.11.]
Guns in Daycares, College Campuses – In 2016, Balderson voted for Senate Bill 199, which opened up daycares and college campuses to the carrying of concealed weapons. [Ohio Senate. Journal. p.2000. 12/8/16.][Cleveland.com. John Kasich signs bill to allow concealed carry at colleges, daycares, plus 16 other bills. 12/19/16.]