This week, state Senators Cecil Thomas (D-Avondale), Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) and Sandra R. Williams (D-Cleveland) announced that they will soon reintroduce six commonsense gun reform bills that would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
“The majority of Ohioans have called on lawmakers to pass tighter gun safety measures,” said Senator Thomas. “Clearly, loosening the laws we have does not make Ohioans safer. The General Assembly cannot waste any more time ignoring Ohioans’ demands while gun crimes continue to increase across our state.”
The bills will address several of these safety measures, including:
“Especially during the pandemic, when we have witnessed increases in violence and people experiencing mental health crises, it’s obvious that it is past time for the legislature to act and support gun legislation that will keep Ohioans safe,” said Senator Williams. “These commonsense measures are long overdue to stop the violence in our communities.”
The reintroduction of these bills comes in response to the statewide increase of gun violence in the last year. According to the Office of Criminal Justice in the Ohio Department of Public Safety, gun violence crimes increased by 17% in the first six months of 2020 compared to the same period the previous year in the eight largest cities in Ohio. Murders by firearm also increased by 27% during the first six months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
“The data speaks for itself: The route the legislature has taken with relaxing firearm laws has cost Ohioans’ lives,” said Senator Craig. “Some of my constituents live in areas where the odds of being hit by gunfire last year were one in 59. This is beyond disturbing and dangerous. Allowing local governments to pass commonsense gun laws will prevent dangerous people from accessing firearms.”