Mike DeWine knows he’s in for a challenge.
The Ohio governor, a Republican trying to push gun control proposals through a legislature where the GOP holds supermajorities in both chambers, saw his predecessor, John Kasich, try the same thing without success.
“No one said this is going to be particularly easy,” DeWine said in a phone interview.
As the deaths mount from high-profile mass shootings, like those last month in Texas and Ohio, the public is pressuring elected officials across the country to act. Proposals to tighten easy access to guns in the U.S. are popular, and gun control advocates say it’s a factor that separates the U.S. from other developed countries that see far fewer gun deaths per year. National polls consistently show 60 percent or more of respondents favor stricter laws.
Some state governments are adopting a new tool: so-called red flag laws, which allow law enforcement or a family to petition to confiscate an individual’s guns. These efforts coincide with work in Congress, where the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday began to consider several gun measures including one to establish a federal red flag law.
At the time of the Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, only five states had such laws. Since then, 12 states and the District of Columbia have enacted them.
But in many other places, the interests that have thwarted gun control efforts for years remain strong. And while the issue is not strictly partisan, opponents of new gun limits hold particular sway among Republicans.
- Leaders of 145 companies wrote a letter addressed to the Senate, asking for them to pass background checks and a strong Red Flag law.
- Chief executives who signed include the CEOs of Uber, Levi Strauss and Gap.
- The letter comes after Walmart stepped back from selling certain kinds of ammunition following two shootings at its stores.