Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) and House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today issued statements on the legislature’s duty to work together to address senseless gun violence and keep all Ohioans safe in the wake of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.
“I am praying for strength and healing for all those suffering in Dayton, El Paso and across our country as we continue to struggle with the effects of escalating gun violence,” said Leader Yuko. “Fear of violence at school, at the grocery store, on a Saturday night out with friends robs us of our freedom. Ohioans are crying out for us to do something. Today, we are calling on our Republican colleagues to join us in saying ‘enough is enough.’ We must take common sense action to protect our citizens.”
The Democratic leaders are emphasizing the importance of passing two widely supported gun safety measures, universal background checks and a “red flag” law. More than 90 percent of Ohioans support universal background checks for gun purchases and Governor DeWine has expressed his support for implementing a red flag law. They are also calling for immediate hearings on commonsense gun safety proposals laid out by Democrats in recent months, as the vast majority of Ohioans support commonsense solutions to keep kids and communities safe.
“A senseless act of violence has brought us together, as Republicans and Democrats, but more importantly, as Ohioans, to ensure another tragedy like this never happens again,” said Leader Sykes. “Democrats this year have unveiled a package of commonsense gun safety measures, including universal background checks and red flag legislation that have overwhelming support among Ohioans of all political backgrounds.
“As legislators, our job is to create meaningful policy that promotes and protects the well-being of Ohioans. While these bills aren’t a complete solution to addressing gun violence, it is a step in the right direction to keep our promise of safety and security for Ohio’s children and families. As legislators, we must do something as the people of this state have directed us. I urge my Republican colleagues to hold hearings on these bills—and any others that will better protect our communities from further acts of violence.”
Democratic lawmakers have proposed several bills to address gun safety this year, including:
- Senate Bill (SB) 19, sponsored by Sen. Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland), to enact red flag protections. Reps. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) and Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) proposed companion legislation in the House.
- SB 63, sponsored by Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati), to require universal background checks on gun purchases. Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon) is proposing companion legislation in the House.
- SB 62, sponsored by Sen. Thomas, would ban bump stocks.
- SB 64, Sen. Thomas, to increase the minimum purchasing age of firearms to 21.
- SB 65, Sen. Thomas, to close the gun show loophole.
- SB 43, Sens. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard), bipartisan legislation to prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a firearm.
- Reps. Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park) and Brigid Kelly’s (D-Cincinnati) proposed safe storage bill to keep firearms out of the hands of minors.
- Ban on high-capacity magazines, proposedby Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson).
- Address funding for school safety, including security doors and restricted access, sponsored by Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville).
- Mental health information provided at purchase site, proposed by Rep. Beth Liston (D-Dublin).
- Restrictions on purchase of body armor and high-capacity magazines, proposed by Rep. Adam Miller (D-Columbus).
- Increase gun safety training hours, proposed by Rep. Miller.
Of all the gun safety legislation introduced, there has only been a single hearing on SB 43.