Letter to Governor Kasich
Dear Governor Kasich,
Our country is in the middle of a wave of gun violence. We
have watched thousands of people – including small children and first
responders – across the U.S. die as the result of mass shootings using
military-grade guns. Columbus is not immune. In 2017, we experienced 143
homicides, and 80% were acts of gun violence.
We are encouraged by your recent comments regarding
responsible gun laws. As public servants in Columbus, it is our responsibility
to keep our city safe – but elected officials at the statehouse have taken away
our ability to enact laws that can reduce gun violence. That must change.
We believe local, state and federal governments must move
swiftly to enact reasonable gun measures that protect our families and first
responders while honoring our Second Amendment rights. These are not mutually
exclusive. We know what works.
- Every gun sale in Ohio should require a
- Military-style assault weapons should be
reserved for our men and women in the armed forces.
- People who have been convicted of domestic
violence should not be allowed to legally possess guns.
- People who are subject to a domestic violence or
stalking order should not be allowed to possess guns for the length of the
- Family members, partners and law enforcement
should have the right to petition a court for a gun violence restraining order
if someone poses a safety risk to themselves or others.
- State law allowing weapons in city parks, day
care centers and school zones should be repealed.
- People who are considered criminals under
federal law should be criminals under Ohio’s gun laws, too.
In addition to these changes, the General Assembly must
restore the rights of cities to enact common sense weapons regulations to
reduce gun violence in our community. After the federal assault weapon ban was
allowed to expire in 2004, Columbus City Council passed legislation to regulate
assault weapons. However, the Ohio General Assembly quickly reacted by
stripping cities of the authority to enact laws that are in the best interest
of families and first responders. Today, assault weapons are being used in
Columbus and across the country to commit crimes of unfathomable violence.
Governor Kasich, this is a leadership moment for our
country. You have called for cities to lead on this issue. In Columbus, we will lead boldly and without
reservation to reduce gun violence. We urge you to join us.
Andrew J. Ginther
Mayor of Columbus
Columbus City Attorney
Shannon G. Hardin
President, Columbus City Council