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Governor's Race Tightens In New Poll, And Activists From Both Sides Take Aim At Gun-Related Bills

The first governor’s race poll of the new year shows the gap narrowing between Republican Gov. John Kasich and his likely Democratic opponent, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. That Quinnipiac poll didn’t include the Libertarian candidate for governor, Charlie Earl, or Larry Ealy, the unknown Democrat who we found out this week has qualified for the primary ballot to run against FitzGerald. The governor’s office has also been answering questions about a controversial playbook for promoting fracking in state parks - by the agency that regulates both fracking and state parks - discovered by an environmental group. House lawmakers voted to give school districts a bit of a break on the calamity days they’ve been racking up. And the House also passed two controversial election bills that were okayed by the Senate last year - one shortening the early voting period, and the other specifying that only the Secretary of State can send out unsolicited absentee ballot applications.

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the signing of the law that created Ohio’s concealed-carry weapons permit program. And since then, bills related to gun sales, access and use have been coming up in the legislature. Most of the bills that have been introduced would expand gun rights in Ohio, building on the number of places where concealed carry weapons permit holders can carry their weapons and sometimes cutting back on the requirements they have to meet. And there have also been changes to laws regarding how and when gun owners can defend themselves and their property. But critics of these laws say these laws do nothing to deal with deadly gun violence that they say kills a thousand people every year, and that the solution is sensible legislation that puts more rules on conceal carry weapons permit holders to protect the general public. Talking about these bills are Ken Hanson with the Buckeye Firearms Association and Amy Pulles with the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence.