Senators Thomas And Schiavoni Announce Package Of Bills To Curb Gun Violence
March 26, 2018
Two Ohio Senate Democrats today announced that they will introduce a comprehensive package of legislation to curb gun violence.
At a press conference at Washington Park in Cincinnati, Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati), who was joined by gun safety advocates, said he and Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) are introducing four common-sense gun safety bills to require universal background checks, raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21, require all guns to be registered with local law enforcement and close the gun show loophole.
“As a lawmaker, it is my duty to represent the people and the people have spoken: enough is enough, and it should have been enough many years ago,” said Senator Thomas. “These bills are meant to create a more regulated process that makes it harder for guns to fall into the hands of criminals.”
“It is past time that lawmakers work together to bring sensible gun regulations to our state and our country,” said Senator Schiavoni. “We have introduced – and will continue to introduce – reasonable, common-sense solutions to make our kids and our communities safer.”
The first piece of legislation announced by the lawmakers would implement universal background checks to require all firearm transactions to be processed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) at the point of transfer. In 2017, around 42 percent of U.S. gun owners acquired their most recent firearm without a background check, according to a study by Northeastern University and Harvard School of Public Health researchers.
The second bill would raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21. Under current law, an individual must be 21 to buy a handgun, but 18-year-olds are able to purchase firearms. It would preserve the current law’s exemptions for members of the military and law enforcement.
The third bill would require all firearms acquired from licensed dealers or private sellers, as well as through transfer or gift to be registered with local law enforcement within five days of the transaction. The bill aims to aid law enforcement in their efforts to trace potentially illegal or stolen guns found at crime scenes. It would exempt law enforcement officers and wouldn’t apply under certain circumstances, including self-defense and travel.
The final piece of legislation would close the so-called gun show loophole and require background checks for private sellers at the time of sale. These private sellers account from anywhere between 25 and 50 percent of vendors at any gun show, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The bill also requires that vendors and promoters obtain a permit and that they take certain safety measures, like securing the parking lot surrounding the sale and checking individuals’ ages at the door of the event.