COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, City Attorney Zach Klein, and City Council President Shannon Hardin are calling on Ohio Governor John Kasich to change Ohio’s gun laws.
In a joint letter posted online Wednesday, the three Columbus politicians ask for the Ohio General Assembly to “restore the rights of cities to enact common sense weapons regulations to reduce gun violence in our community.”
The full letter is below:
Dear Governor Kasich,
Our country is in the middle of a wave of gun violence. We have watched thousands of people – including small children and first responders – across the U.S. die as the result of mass shootings using military-grade guns. Columbus is not immune. In 2017, we experienced 143 homicides, and 80% were acts of gun violence.
We are encouraged by your recent comments regarding responsible gun laws. As public servants in Columbus, it is our responsibility to keep our city safe – but elected officials at the statehouse have taken away our ability to enact laws that can reduce gun violence. That must change.
We believe local, state and federal governments must move swiftly to enact reasonable gun measures that protect our families and first responders while honoring our Second Amendment rights. These are not mutually exclusive. We know what works.
- Every gun sale in Ohio should require a background check.
- Military-style assault weapons should be reserved for our men and women in the armed forces.
- People who have been convicted of domestic violence should not be allowed to legally possess guns.
- People who are subject to a domestic violence or stalking order should not be allowed to possess guns for the length of the order.
- Family members, partners and law enforcement should have the right to petition a court for a gun violence restraining order if someone poses a safety risk to themselves or others.
- State law allowing weapons in city parks, day care centers and school zones should be repealed.
- People who are considered criminals under federal law should be criminals under Ohio’s gun laws, too.
In addition to these changes, the General Assembly must restore the rights of cities to enact common sense weapons regulations to reduce gun violence in our community. After the federal assault weapon ban was allowed to expire in 2004, Columbus City Council passed legislation to regulate assault weapons. However, the Ohio General Assembly quickly reacted by stripping cities of the authority to enact laws that are in the best interest of families and first responders. Today, assault weapons are being used in Columbus and across the country to commit crimes of unfathomable violence.
Governor Kasich, this is a leadership moment for our country. You have called for cities to lead on this issue. In Columbus, we will lead boldly and without reservation to reduce gun violence. We urge you to join us.
Andrew J. Ginther
Mayor of Columbus
Columbus City Attorney
Shannon G. Hardin
President, Columbus City Council