Ohio Senate committees take up bills on guns, “crisis pregnancy centers” this week

Gun Rights

Two different Ohio Senate committees are set to consider controversial bills Tuesday. One bill would provide a tax credit for donations to so-called “pregnancy distress centers” in Ohio, and the other would ban cities from keeping a list of guns and gun owners.

Ohioans who give money to a “pregnancy distress center” already get a tax deduction. But the Senate Finance Committee will hear a Republican-backed bill that would make those donations tax credits instead.

Opponents of these facilities have often called them “fake” health clinics because they try to persuade women against abortions. The 175 pregnancy centers, usually connected to faith-based groups, can offer some health care services along with material assistance.

Sen. Sandra O’Brien (R-Ashtabula) said her bill’s tax credit would encourage more people and businesses to contribute to those facilities. The researchers who work for state lawmakers estimated the bill could cost the state up to $10 million a year.

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Four Republican senators are signed onto the bill.

A contentious gun bill is also being considered

Also on Tuesday, the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee will hear and could vote on an NRA-backed bill dubbed the Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act. The Republican-backed bill prohibits governments from keeping lists of privately owned firearms or firearm owners.

It also prevents banks or credit card companies from treating transactions involving a firearm any differently than they would any other sporting good and prevents them from disclosing those transaction records. The bill gives the attorney general power to investigate alleged violations.

Seven of the Senate’s 33 members have signed onto the bill.

The Ohio Senate is scheduled to be in session on Wednesday.

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