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Two Ohio lawmakers call for potential injury disclosures before gun sales

by MARC KOVAC | CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF Published: June 30, 2013 12:00 AM

Columbus -- Two Democratic state lawmakers want gun businesses to disclose the potential health risks of firearms ownership before completing sales to consumers.

Reps. Bob Hagan from Youngstown and Mike Foley from Cleveland said their "pro-life" gun legislation is appropriate, given disclosure requirements added by Republicans to the biennial budget bill that will affect women seeking abortions.

"Each year in Ohio, over 1,000 people lose their lives from firearm-related injuries, and thousands more end up in hospital emergency rooms," Hagan said. "And yet we have no laws to ensure individuals buying guns in our state really understand that capacity for serious injury or even death that a firearm holds."

He added, "This is a pro-life bill. It's protecting life as we know it."

House Bill 222 would require the Ohio Department of Health to conduct a study of all the potential types of bodily injuries that could be caused by firearms.

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The information would be compiled, and businesses that sell guns would have to provide a copy to consumers purchasing firearms.

Earlier this week, Republicans added language to the $62 billion biennial budget bill that would require doctors to check for fetal heartbeats and then inform patients about their existence and the probability of bringing an "unborn human individual possessing a detectable fetal heartbeat to term."

The provision was one of several in the budget related to abortions; another amendment likely will block funding for Planned Parenthood.

"During this budget cycle, Republicans have been obsessed, just obsessed, with issues related to abortion ," Foley said. "We're trying to turn that around and say that, if you're going to buy a gun, you should know what the consequences of gun violence are."

Hagan added, "Rather than wading into the culture wars and interfering with ones personal medical choices, we should be seeking to protect our citizens by informing them of the lethal capacity of any firearm."

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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