Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine hopes Republican lawmakers will give him something they denied his predecessor — a "red flag" law allowing a judge to temporarily order the seizure of weapons from a gun owner suspected of being a threat to themselves or others.

DeWine is working on a "red flag" measure for submission to the General Assembly, which refused last year to move on measures proposed by then-Gov. John Kasich to reduce gun violence.

DeWine on Monday brought up his concern over recent shootings at houses of worship, including the fatal Passover shooting at a California synagogue on Saturday — six months to the day after 11 people were slain at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

"I am deeply concerned about what we are seeing in this country in regard to attacks on houses of worship," DeWine said, unprompted by reporters' questions. "This is something that has to be deplored, I deplore, it's sickening. People who go to worship ... certainly have the right to believe they are going to be safe."

Asked if he would seek a "red flag" law, the governor responded, "I have asked my team to work on that ... trying to get a 'red flag' law that can pass. That's my goal."

DeWine won election last year with the support of gun-rights groups and has signaled support for a bill pending before the House that would allow law-abiding Ohioans to carry a concealed handgun without a permit or firearms training.

During the campaign, DeWine said any such bill to remove guns from Ohioans must be carefully crafted to ensure the due process rights of those accused by family members, police officers or others of being a potential threat are protected in court proceedings.

Ohio law already requires the removal of firearms from anyone against whom a civil protection order is issued due to domestic violence or fear of such violence.

Kasich, a two-term Republican, left office upset with the refusal of the generally gun-friendly GOP legislature to entertain what he called modest proposals to help curb gun violence.

"We can’t get it done over there. This really infuriates me,” Kasich said late last year of lawmakers' inaction on his proposal for a "red flag" law and other gun measures. "For the first time in my lifetime, the possibility of somebody coming through that door and shooting us exists. And we can’t do anything due to rotten, stinking politics.”

 

Reach Randy Ludlow at rludlow@dispatch.com or @RandyLudlow.