Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder represents the largest obstacle to gun safety legislation passing in Ohio, full stop.

Since the August 4 mass shooting in Dayton, Republican Governor Mike DeWine has been rolling out a 17-point package to address gun violence that includes background check and red flag legislation, and Republican Senate President Larry Obhof has been holding hearings on bipartisan gun safety bills. But it takes three to enact a bill into law in Ohio and the House of Representatives, headed up by Larry Householder, seems to be working to make sure that doesn’t happen.

He was completely invisible in the days following the Dayton shooting, and after DeWine rolled out his legislative agenda, Householder quickly rejected the idea of enacting a red flag law. He even hyped a local “gun bash,” a charity event where a firearms are auctioned off every five minutes (editor: we are assured they conducted background checks) to raise money for the local fair.

More importantly, Householder has failed to schedule a single hearing on gun safety legislature since lawmakers returned from their summer break.

Yesterday, Householder held up another middle finger in the face of anyone hoping that now is different.

A bipartisan group of Mayors and Lawmakers came together with police chiefs and gun violence survivors at the Statehouse yesterday to hold a press conference and to urge legislators and Governor DeWine to move swiftly on enacting gun safety legislation.

Whitney Austin, who survived the 2018 shooting at Fifth Third Center, said gun owners must be part of the conversation about gun control legislation.

Larry Householder and House Republican leadership did not attend.

Newspaper excerpt: "The mayors and police chiefs met with DeWine and and legislative leaders except those from the House GOP on Thursday."

Where was Larry, you might be asking? He was at the racetrack, attending a political fundraiser:

Fundraiser invitation

Facebook post noting Householder’s attendance at the September 19 fundraiser.

The Ohio House has a pretty light calendar for the rest of the year, and many believe Householder is slow-walking gun reform legislation until at least after the December 18 candidate filing deadline so that his caucus members don’t draw a primary opponent as the result of a vote for gun safety. That actually seems quite optimistic. Householder himself is rumored to be looking at a run for Governor in 2022 and it’ll be a lot easier to stake out a clear lane in the GOP electorate against Mike DeWine (or Jon Husted if DeWine doesn’t run again) if they’re on opposite sides of such a salient issue for primary voters.

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