COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio’s Democratic mayors are calling on state and federal lawmakers to do more when it comes to gun reform.
Leaders from Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Toledo, Dayton, and Cleveland all put out a rallying cry Monday as Ohio moves forward on new laws when it comes to guns. Ohio mayors and police chiefs on the call said they are on the frontlines when it comes to gun violence, saying much of it happens in Ohio’s cities.
They’re calling on lawmakers here in Columbus and in Washington D. C. to do more.
“In the last year, (Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine) has signed stand your ground, permitless carry and now guns for teachers,” said Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.
Leaders are calling for gun reform like universal background checks, red flag laws, and raising the purchasing age to 21.
Columbus’ police chief expressed her concern for permitless concealed carry, as the city works to address safety in public parks.
“There are some things that we’re not going to be able to control when it comes to individuals that are in the heat of the moment, but based on the fact that there will be more guns on the street and more accessibility to weapons, we are very concerned we’re going to see a rise in these issues,” said Columbus Chief of Police Elaine Bryant.
The most recent shooting happened this weekend, when a man was shot and killed inside the Mall at Tuttle Crossing.
“He just threw a purse at me and hit me in my face,” said suspect Tyrone Gray on the 911 call.
The operator asked, “He threw a purse at you and you shot him?”
Gray responded on the call saying, “Yes. He smacked me with a purse.”
Those on the conference also had strong criticism for House Bill 99, which allows districts to opt into a program allowing adults to be armed in schools with a minimum of 24 hours of training.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said cities will be banding together to work to address gun violence.
“We’re going to be forming a coalition of mayors, police chiefs, city attorneys, and law directors in communities across the state to continue to treat gun violence as the public health crisis it is,” he said.
Ginther said more will be coming on this “multi-jurisdictional coalition” at a later time.