COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine continues to ask Ohio lawmakers to strengthen the state’s gun laws.
During his Tuesday coronavirus update, DeWine began by talking about the shooting death of 4-year-old Rowan Sweeney, in Struthers early Monday morning.
“He was an innocent child,” said DeWine of Sweeney. “His future full of infinite possibilities.”
Sweeney died in his mother’s arms, according to police. Four others inside the home were also shot.
DeWine cited news’ reports that found at least 88 people were in shot in Ohio during the past two weeks, with 34 of those killed. Among them was another child, 6-year-old King Pleasant.
DeWine said Pleasant was killed by an 11-year-old, and it remains under investigating how the child was able to gain possession of the gun.
“This time next week, more will have died,” DeWine said of the shootings. “Which is why I will keep talking about our legislation that we have in front of the general assembly. And I will ask the General Assembly to please take it up and pass it.”
DeWine said most gun violence in the state is being committed by those who aren’t legally allowed to own a gun.
“Current law is clearly not tough enough, since these individuals continue to illegally carry or use weapons anyway.”
DeWine says the bill he’s asking the General Assembly to pass will toughen the penalties for the people who are breaking the law by illegally having a weapon.
The bill would allow judges to use their discretion to enact a punishment if the suspect’s previous crime, was a crime of violence, according to DeWine.
“We have an obligation, as leaders of this state, to take action to protect people. This is an easy one. This is not hard. We need to get it done,” said DeWine.