Rep. Danny R. Bubp has collected the 50 signatures needed to force a House vote on a pair of controversial bills that would allow more Ohioans to carry guns and let permit holders to carry concealed handguns into places that serve alcohol

The West Union Republican is utilizing a rare discharge petition to force a pair of bills out of a House committee and into the full House, avoiding the usual committee process and circumventing Speaker Armond Budish’s control of the matter.

But the bills apparently cannot get a vote on passage until Tuesday at the earliest, so if Budish decides not to schedule any sessions after this week, the bills will die.

Bubp wants a vote.

“We’re right here on the cusp of it,” he said. “I want to be able to go as soon as possible into an Applebee’s, an O’Charley’s or somewhere with my weapon. I don’t want to leave it in the car like I do now.”

Gov. Ted Strickland would sign the bills, a spokeswoman said.

Not since 1995 has a legislator successfully gathered 50 signatures on a discharge petition. Lawmakers are usually reluctant to explore the tactic because doing so means going against the will of the House speaker.

But with Republicans set to take control of the House in January, Budish’s clout is diminished. Seven Democrats joined 43 Republicans in signing the petitions, and six of those seven are incumbents who lost on Election Day.

“(Republican speaker-elect William G. Batchelder) and Republican leadership often talk about admiring and adhering to the traditions and protocols of the House,” Budish said. “I believe this violates the traditions and protocols of the House, but it is what it is, and we’ll go forward as the rules require.”

Source: Jim Siegel for The Columbus Dispatch.

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Rep. Danny R. Bubp has collected the 50 signatures needed to force a House…