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Light Turnout For Public Hearing On Columbus' Proposed Gun Regulations

Apr 27, 2018

Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs says 117 of the city's record 143 homicides in 2017 were committed with a gun
Credit WCBE files

Only eight people showed up to speak last night at a Columbus City Council hearing on proposed gun regulations. 

City leaders last month introduced 11 changes combined into four ordinances designed to curb gun violence, including bans on selling imitation guns to children, shutting down businesses that attract violence, and prohibiting gun sales in residential areas. The ordinances also  ban bump stocks, and ban people with domestic violence convictions from owning weapons. Mayor Andy Ginther and City Attorney Zach Klein say the changes will align municipal codes with state and federal laws. 

The city's proposals come amid last year's record homicide rate, a national debate about gun control, and Governor John Kasich's efforts  to get his gun control recommendations through the legislature. They also come amid an Ohio House effort to pass a bill blocking cities from enacting  gun regulations. Of those who spoke last night, only Columbus resident John Slaughter expressed  some concerns.

Lara Baker-Morrish with the city attorney's office says the city's hands are tied in this area by state law.

Two of the other seven speakers had ties to the city or to gun control advocacy groups. The rest were Columbus City Schools students who said their voices and those of residents in high-crime neighborhoods need to be heard.

City Council plans to hold more hearings before taking any action on the ordinances.