Thomas, Craig Introduce Bill to Restore Local Communities' Ability to Make Gun Rules
September 20, 2019
State Sens. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) and Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) announced they introduced a bill to allow cities in Ohio to implement gun reforms.
“For more than a decade, Ohio cities and towns have had little ability to proactively prevent gun violence,” said Thomas. “Instead, our local leaders – who know their communities best – have had their hands tied and been forced to stand witness as gun violence is committed within their city. We need to provide our local leaders with the tools they need to make their residents safer.”
Under current Ohio law, local governments are prohibited from passing any firearms regulations that are more restrictive than those passed by the Ohio legislature. This law was enacted in 2006 and most of the bills passed by Ohio lawmakers since have expanded gun rights. At the same time, gun violence has been on the rise. Since 2007, 16,374 Ohioans died by gun violence. And Ohio’s 2017 gun-death rate, the most recent year available, was the highest since records began.
“According to current Ohio law, my community does not have the ability to do what’s best for its residents and address our unique challenges related to gun violence," said Craig. "Ohio’s local elected leaders understand the demands and complexity of the cities they represent. Allowing them to create tailored rules about their communities’ safety will curb the unnecessary carnage gun violence has caused.”
The legislation, Senate Bill 202, was formally introduced on Thursday and will soon be assigned to a Senate committee for hearings.