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GOP Ohio Senate Candidate Matt Dolan’s Longstanding History Against The Right To Bear Arms


Dolan, who is vying to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in the general election later this year, previously sided with liberal legislators on policies that Republicans have traditionally viewed as antithetical to the Second Amendment.


With Ohio’s Republican Senate primary right around the corner on Tuesday, voters considering marking their ballots for state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) to face off against the Democratic incumbent in November are reminded of his long history of backing policies hostile to gun owners.


Dolan, who is vying to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in the general election later this year, has repeatedly sided with liberal legislators on policies that Republicans have traditionally viewed as antithetical to the Second Amendment.


In the summer of 2022, Ohio Republicans in the Senate reportedly quickly passed House Bill 99, allowing teachers to carry firearms in the classroom. Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill amid the country mourning the death of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, who were killed in a school shooting in May.


Although the bill passed largely along party lines, Dolan joined a number of Democrats who voted against the bill. 


But that wasn’t the first time Dolan voted with Democrats.


In August 2022, Dolan backed a so-called gun safety bill that would have imposed extreme risk laws, gravely endangering the rights of firearm owners.


SB 357 would allow the government to remove a firearm from someone presumptively deemed by a judge to be suffering from mental illness. The bill would have also included "safety protection orders," "seller's protection certificates,” and a new "co-signer requirement" for 18-21-year-olds to purchase firearms. 


The bill has received backlash from gun rights advocates, who argue it violates the Fifth Amendment’s clause stating a person cannot be "deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.”


Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association, previously criticized Dolan for campaigning to champion gun rights only to support a massive gun control bill, warning gun owners he poses a threat to protecting or advancing the Second Amendment.


“I can only assume this was a cynical bid to pick up liberal or moderate voters, and he hoped conservative voters were too dumb to notice his abandonment of a core conservative principle,” Rieck wrote.


And in December 2020, Dolan again joined Democrats in attempting to stop a bill that would eliminate the duty to retreat before shooting in self-defense. Often called the "stand your ground” law, lawmakers designed Senate Bill 175 to protect Ohioans' Second Amendment rights.


However, Dolan voted against the bill in conjunction with number of Democrats, which Gov. DeWine ultimately signed.


But despite his track record, Dolan’s website touts his support for American’s right to bear arms.


“In the U.S. Senate, just as I did in Ohio, I will work with local law enforcement to ensure not only safe homes, schools and communities, but also iron-clad protections of our Second Amendment rights and the honor and traditions we hold dear,” he wrote.


Dolan faces rival Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Trump-endorsed political outsider Bernie Moreno in Ohio’s primary race on March 19. The winner of Tuesday’s race will face Brown in the general election later this year.


LaRose criticized Dolan for his previous support of SB 357, saying his opponent is “well known as an anti-gun guy," 


"He literally sponsored the red flag law in Ohio,” LaRose told Fox News Digital. “He wrote it and introduced it, I think twice, that would allow firearms confiscation. This was a bill that was so liberal that, of course, it didn't go anywhere in our state legislature. 


A recent Survey USA poll showed 1,400 Republican and independent voters favoring Moreno with 29%, while Dolan and LaRose trail behind with 27 percent and 21 percent respectively.


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