Reporting violations for background checks on track in DC

DARKE COUNTY – Governor John Kasich last week announced several policy changes that may affect those wanting to purchase guns and current gun owners.

Tightening background checks and “red flag” protection orders were two such recommendations Kasich made in the wake of the Feb. 14 Florida school shooting that left 17 dead.

A recent report by an Ohio newspaper found many Ohio courts do not routinely update information, which would affect the outcome of background checks.

Darke County Clerk of Court Cindy Pike and Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker both say that’s not the case in Darke County.

“To my knowledge, things are happening very timely,” Whittaker said, noting his department is receiving needed information as subjects go through the court system for violations requiring they are not to own a gun.

Pike also said her department is in compliance with the required reporting system.

Both county officials said the names of those who should not purchase firearms are automatically reported to the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC.

Those who sell firearms, Whittaker said, refer to the NCIC when completing background checks on a potential buyer.

One of Kasich’s points was to mirror federal law prohibiting anyone convicted of a domestic violence crime or who are subject to a domestic violence protection order from buying or owning a firearm.

According to Pike, the names of those who are convicted are reported by her office.

“My office would report domestic violence convictions. If we have the fingerprint card from the sheriff’s office, we send it electronically to the BCI (Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation). We report all convictions to BCI electronically.”

These convictions are normally reported within 30 days, Pike said, to allow for the appeals process.

Pike also said when a protection order (PO) is granted, the court can “seek if the person has guns.” Information is then sent to the sheriff, who can take guns out of the house.

Other points in Kasich’s proposed gun control include a gun violence protection order.

Pike said she was unsure when or if this PO would take effect, explaining besides the “regular Civil PO and Stalking PO,” the Ohio legislature just passed a Dating PO, that may go into effect within a couple of months.

Pike said she was not sure how a “gun PO will play out.”

The governor’s proposal also touches on “Strawman” purchases, which would ban purchases of firearms for third parties, except as a gift; updates Ohio’s law to mirror federal law for banning armor-piercing ammunition; and if federal officials are successful at banning bump stocks, which increases a weapon’s firing rate, Ohio law should follow suit.

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