One Week After Shooting, Thomas Reflects on Tragedy and Calls for Action
September 13, 2018
Today, state Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) marked one week since the tragic shooting at Fifth Third Bank in downtown Cincinnati with a solemn reflection on the events and solutions to curb gun violence.
“The sorrow that has overwhelmed our city these past few days can only be outweighed by the solidarity and strength Cincinnati has shown in the face of tragedy,” said Senator Thomas. “Although we are grieving, we must also celebrate the selfless police officers and first responders whose actions undoubtedly saved lives.
“When a mass shooting happens, it reignites the conversation of how we might go about reducing the likelihood that a tragedy like this will happen again. While laws cannot solve every ill society faces, we know that passing comprehensive, common-sense gun control legislation would reduce the number of victims we lose every year to gun violence.”
As information about the shooter’s mental health has come to light, Senator Thomas called on the Ohio legislature to consider two pending bills aimed at curbing mentally ill individuals from obtaining firearms: strengthening background checks and red flag laws.
Senate Bill 283, sponsored by Senators Thomas and Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) would implement universal background checks to require all firearm purchases be processed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) at the point of transfer.
Senate Bill 278, introduced by Senators Schiavoni and Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland), would allow family members or law enforcement to seek an extreme risk protection order to temporarily remove firearms from a person exhibiting “red flags”—behaviors that indicate significant mental instability or dangerous aggression toward themselves or others.
“Why wouldn’t we make it as hard as possible for people who shouldn’t have guns to get them?” said Senator Thomas.
The two bills are among a package of comprehensive gun reform bills introduced by Senate Democrats. Senator Thomas is the lead sponsor on five of the bills and co-sponsors three others.
“As we struggle to make sense of this tragedy, it is important that we look forward and do all that we can to keep Ohioans safe,” said Senator Thomas.