Columbus, Ohio – Effective March 24, 2019, gun owners in the Buckeye State will likely see many long guns become illegal, thanks to the gross negligence in bill management of Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) President Jim Irvine and Executive Director Dean Rieck.
The problem rests in the final version of House Bill 228, the bill BFA pushed during the Lame Duck session of Ohio’s 132nd General Assembly, which concluded in late December.
Irvine, Rieck and BFA’s hand-picked bill sponsor Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) neglected to monitor their own bill and allowed a legislative drafter to insert harmful language that will have huge repercussions for Ohio gun owners.
The “fix” that BFA’s ungainly duo and Rep LaTourette claimed would legalize firearms like Mossberg’s Shockwave instead not only explicitly outlaws the Shockwave but also outlaws many firearms with pistol grips, thumbhole stocks, threaded barrels and flash suppressors!
The result is that unless the General Assembly takes emergency action by March 24th, gun owners in the Buckeye state will see lawfully purchased AR15’s, AK47’s, and firearms with a pistol grip, thumbhole stock, flash suppressor or threaded barrel become “non-sporting” and thus illegal.
The botched mismanagement by Irvine, Rieck and LaTourette translates into a gun-grabber’s dream come true!
Many in the gun rights community are scrambling for a legislative fix before the bill’s enactment date of March 24, but Buckeye Firearms Association doesn’t appear to be one of them.
A perusal through the group’s Facebook page reveals no public plan to fix their mistake and a disturbing lack of responsibility by the group for their butterfingered mis-management of the bill that caused the problem in the first place.
Making matters worse, the bill was considered by many to be poorly written from the outset in Ohio’s gun rights community.
Chris Dorr, the Executive Director of Ohio’s self-billed “no-compromise” and largest gun rights organization, sounded the warning about BFA’s omnibus approach to gun rights legislation long before, declaring in the group’s emails that gun owners would be better served by focusing on single-issue bills that deal with issues comprehensively.
“Irvine’s approach with HB228 was a disaster from the beginning. It was a band-aid bill that tried to do a little of everything, but none of it well. It’s just the dumbest approach I’ve ever witnessed, and now gun owners pay the price for it,” Dorr said.
BFA’s ineptitude in bill management seems to stem from their commitment to remain friendly with legislators rather than push for legislation.
A video on Ohio Gun Owners’ Youtube channel reveals that Irvine and BFA were party to removing the Stand-Your-Ground portion of HB228 as well, which would have removed Ohio’s “duty to retreat” law.
That claim by OGO seemed to be proven true days later when BFA published an article on their website praising the same Senate body that had gutted the Stand-Your-Ground section of HB228.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. BFA is good at one thing and one thing only, and that’s their FASTER program for training school teachers how to carry. But when it comes to gun politics, holding politicians accountable and bill management, they’re the Sponge Bob of America. The politicians run them over, and they bounce right back up and sing their praises. It’s appalling, and their endorsement history is proof of that,” said Dorr.
A look at BFA’s history of endorsements include endorsements for former Governor John Kasich, State Senator John Eklund, State Senator Stephanie Kunze and Representative Mike Henne, all of whom were the chief proponents of Ohio’s 2018 “Red Flag” gun confiscation bill in the Ohio legislature.
An online search of BFA’s website revealed that the group never withdrew the endorsements of these politicians, supporting OGO’s claim that BFA prioritizes friendships with the political class over the rights of the gun owner community.
The BFA-induced crisis looms large as the March 24th enactment date approaches, and now falls squarely into the lap of newly-minted Speaker of the House Larry Householder (R-Glenford), who became Speaker in January.
Likely not lost on the Speaker is the fact that Rep Sarah LaTourette, the sponsor of HB228 and a responsible party in the coming crisis, was one of his most bitter opponents during the battle for the Speaker’s gavel in her support for former Speaker Ryan Smith.
Second Amendment Daily will continue coverage on this story.