Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

City officials say they will use 'window of opportunity' to push Columbus gun regulations

Columbus City Attorney Zack Klein, testifying before city council on proposed gun regulations November 22, 2022.
Columbus city Council
Columbus City Attorney Zack Klein, testifying before city council on proposed gun regulations November 22, 2022.

Columbus City Council is getting closer to a vote on gun regulations. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther opened a public hearing on three proposals Tuesday evening by denouncing the "Wild West" mentality of the governor and state legislature

"...which has passed dangerous laws that allow residents to carry a concealed weapons without a permit. And they don't even have to tell police officers that they have a gun."

Council member Shayla Favor, who introduced the legislation, calls the three-part proposal "common sense" regulation. As proposed, it would would ban ammunition magazines holding more than 30 rounds, except for law enforcement or military personnel. It would make illegal straw man sales, in which someone buys, gives, or otherwise procures a firearm for a third party who is not allowed to have one. And it would penalize people who do not secure weapons, especially when there is a risk that minors may have access.

All of the people who testified at the hearing were in favor of expanding gun restrictions. Several had lost family members - children, parents, partners - to gun violence. Written testimony opposing the legislation came from the Buckeye Firearms Association, which vowed to fight the proposed ordinance, calling it unlawful.

And the future of the legislation is unclear. Earlier this month a Franklin County Judge issued a preliminary injunction in the suit the city filed three years ago against a a portion of a state law that barred cities from writing their own gun restrictions. But after council member Favor introduced the current proposal the same judge stayed his own order, pending approval from the state Attorney General. AG Dave Yost says that stay prevents Columbus from passing any legislation.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein says the city is pushing ahead.

"I can't predict the court, but all I can say is that for now; we're here and we have the opportunity. This legislative strategy is one that's practical, and it's effective. And it's reasonable, to help end the chaos on the streets, grocery stores, places of worship, and nightclubs."

A vote on the proposed regulations could come before city council as early as December fifth.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.