Thursday, July 27, 2023

Columbus Mayor and Democratic Legislators Push for Desired Gun Reforms in Ohio

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Democratic leaders in Columbus, Ohio, plan to call on state legislators to take action on gun control, based on recent polls that show widespread support among Ohio residents for laws such as universal background checks and compulsory concealed weapon carry training. Mayor Andrew Ginther, City Attorney Zach Klein, House Minority Leader Allison Russo, and State Senator Hearcel Craig will hold a press conference outside the statehouse at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

These local and state Democrats will likely refer to a poll conducted by the Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau from July 9-12. The survey results demonstrate that Ohio residents are in favor of "common sense gun reforms". According to the poll, 92% of Ohioans support obligatory background checks for gun purchases, 88% support mandatory training for concealed weapon carriers, and 75% are in favor of safe storage laws.

Contrary to public opinion, recent legislation in Ohio has eased gun ownership and usage restrictions. The Republican-led legislature has lessened requirements for teachers who wish to have guns in their classrooms, abolished the legal obligation to retreat before shooting, and removed all training requirements for concealed weapon carriers.

While Republicans argue that these changes uphold the Second Amendment, Democrats, including those in power in Columbus, contend that they make Ohio more dangerous and possibly infringe on the rights of local communities to self-govern. In December, the Columbus City Council unanimously passed a series of gun control measures, including a ban on magazines capable of holding 30 or more rounds and penalties for careless firearm storage. However, these proposed changes are currently suspended due to a legal dispute.

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