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Columbus, OH 43215


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Columbus City Leaders Propose Common Sense Local Gun Laws

New Laws Aim to Reduce Gun Violence by Closing Gap Between State and Federal Law, Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence and Remove Dangerous Weapons From Neighborhoods

[COLUMBUS - OH] - Today, City Council President Shannon G. Hardin, Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and City Attorney Zach Klein announced eleven comprehensive changes to local laws to reduce gun violence.

The proposals seek to address longstanding issues of violence in our communities by closing the gap between state and federal law, protecting victims of domestic violence, and removing dangerous weapons from neighborhoods.

“Today we are taking local action to reduce gun violence in Columbus,” said Mayor Ginther.  “Every person in every neighborhood deserves to be safe. These proposed new laws bolster the work of the Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy and get more guns out of the hands of those who misuse them.”

“Gun violence plagued Columbus’ neighborhoods in 2017, yet the Statehouse handcuffed responsible local officials, preventing them from enacting the most basic gun safety laws. We are proud to stand with Mayor Ginther and City Attorney Klein to put forth specific steps to reduce the number of guns on the street and keep our neighborhoods safe,” said Council President Hardin.

“We are confident that these proposed laws are within Columbus’ authority to enact, despite restrictions imposed on us by state legislators. Regardless of Ohio’s efforts, we will be bold and creative in protecting the lives of residents in our city,” said City Attorney Klein. “Undoubtedly, while both Ohio and federal law severely restrict what we can change at the local level, we will be relentless in our work to reduce violence in our community.”

The full proposal can be viewed below.

City of Columbus Proposes Laws to Reduce Gun Violence

Leading Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence

The City of Columbus will continue leading efforts to reduce gun violence. As part of the Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy, the City is proposing local action to close the gap between state and federal weapons laws, protect all victims of domestic violence, and keep dangerous weapons out of neighborhoods. State and federal action is still needed to ban assault weapons and implement universal background checks, but we are acting now to implement meaningful, common sense regulations to address gun violence.

Closing the Gaps Between State and Federal Weapons Laws

Ohio law fails to include several federal weapons prohibitions – meaning someone could be a criminal under federal law but free to go under Ohio law. The City of Columbus will clear up this unnecessary confusion to protect our families and first responders.

1.       Weapons Under Disability Ordinance

a.       Mirror federal law for having a weapon under disability by enacting an ordinance which will prohibit possession of a weapon if a person (a) previously was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, (b) currently is the subject of a protection order, or (c) previously was convicted of, or is under indictment for, a felony crime that is considered a disability under federal law but not Ohio law. (See attached list.)

b.      Punishable by a mandatory minimum six months in jail.

c.       Petition the court for forfeiture of instrumentalities, including firearms, used to commit the offense.


2.       Prohibiting Dangerous Weapons Accessories

a.       Ban the possession, brandishing, or use of bump stocks and other firearms accessories such as Rotating Trigger Actuators, trigger cranks, and Hell-Fire trigger systems.


3.       Keeping Imitation Firearms off our Streets

a.       Prohibit the brandishing or displaying of imitation firearms in a public place.

b.      Prohibit the alteration of an imitation firearm to remove its blaze orange plug, making it difficult to distinguish it from a real firearm.

c.       Prohibit the sale of imitation firearms to minors.


4.       Re-enact City Weapons Codes

a.       Create the following Columbus City Code ordinances that mirror state law: (a) Definitions, (b) Using Weapons while Intoxicated, (c) Defacing ID Marks on Firearm, (d) Underage Purchase of Handgun, (e) Failure to Report a Lost/Stolen Firearm; and (f) Possessing Criminal Tools.

b.      Petition the court for forfeiture of instrumentalities, including firearms, used to commit the offense.

Protecting All Victims of Domestic Violence and Assault

Federal and State laws offer protections to some victims of domestic violence – but not all. The City of Columbus will take action to protect all victims of domestic violence and assault by including intimate partner violence.

1.       Domestic Violence Ordinance

a.       Include protections for intimate partners, including people in a dating relationship.

b.      Punishable by a mandatory minimum six months in jail if perpetrator possessed or carried a firearm during the commission of the offense (first offense only because multiple violations of domestic violence is already a felony under Ohio law).

c.       Petition the court for forfeiture of instrumentalities, including firearms, used to commit the offense.


2.       Violation of a Protection Order Ordinance

a.       Applies to orders such as Temporary Criminal Protection orders and Civil Orders of Protection issued to protect alleged victims of acts of violence such as Domestic Violence, Menacing by Stalking, and Sexual Assault.

b.      Punishable by a mandatory minimum six months in jail if violator possessed or carried a firearm during the commission of the offense.

c.       Petition the court for forfeiture of instrumentalities, including firearms, used to commit the offense.


3.       Surrendered Firearms Ordinance

a.       Mirror state code provisions for storing and returning surrendered firearms.

b.      Require that deadly weapons seized in connection with an arrest for domestic violence/violating a protection order will be retained, absent a court order to the contrary, until the expiration of the protection order or the final disposition of the underlying criminal case.

Protecting Neighborhoods from Dangerous Weapons

State laws allow the city to shut down nuisance properties for underage alcohol sales but not for felony offenses of violence. Our city code also does not ban the sale of firearms in neighborhoods. The city will add violent felonies to the nuisance code, as well as ban the sale of firearms in residential areas.

1.       Shutting Down Magnets for Felony Violence

a.       Add properties “upon which a felony offense of violence has occurred” to the Columbus City Code definition of a “public nuisance.”

b.      To protect victims of domestic violence, exempt felony offenses of domestic violence and violating a protection order.

2.       Prohibiting Firearm Sales in Residential Areas

a.       Amend the city zoning code to prohibit the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms in areas zoned residential.

3.       Expanding Weapons Reporting Processes

a.       Expand on current processes to safely report people who have firearms, but shouldn’t, and better educate the residents on opportunities to safely surrender firearms.

b.      Allow family, friends, and concerned citizens to report a minor with a weapon and have that weapon safely surrendered.

Misdemeanor Weapons Under Disability Ordinance

Below is a list of felony offenses to consider as an underlying violation of the proposed “Misdemeanor Weapons Under Disability Ordinance.” Again, federal law already makes an underlying violation of any of these felonies a prohibition for possessing a firearm; however, Ohio law fails to include them as a prohibition. For various reasons, the federal law prohibition is not enforced, thus allowing criminals to freely possess weapons in Ohio without penalty. The proposed “Misdemeanor Weapons Under Disability Ordinance” will mirror federal law and criminalize possession of a weapon if the individual has been convicted of, or under indicted for, these felonies.


2903.041 - Reckless Homicide – F3

2903.06 - Aggravated Vehicular Homicide – (F3, F2, F1)

2903.06 - Vehicular Homicide with DUS/Priors – F4

2903.08 - Aggravated Vehicular Assault – (F3, F2)

2903.08 - Vehicular Assault (F3, F4)

Chapter 2907: SEX OFFENSES

2907.04 – Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor with victim less than 4 or with priors (F4, F3, F2) 2907.07 – Importuning (not F5; F4, F3, F2)

2907.19 – Commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (F3)

2907.21 – Compelling Prostitution (F3, F2)

2907.22 – Promoting Prostitution (F4, F3)

2907.23 – Procuring with 17 or under (F4, F3)

2907.24 – Soliciting with 17 or under or with HIV (not F5, F3)

2907.25 – Prostitution with HIV (F3)

2907.31 – Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles that is obscene (not F5; F4)

2907.32 – Pandering Obscenity (not F5; F4) 2907.321 – Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor (F4, F3, F2)

2907.322 – Pandering Sexually Oriented Material Involving a Minor (F4, F3, F2)

2907.323 – Illegal Use of Minor in Nudity-Oriented Material or Performance (not F5. F4, F2)


2909.04 – Disrupting Public Service (F4) 2909.22 – Soliciting or Providing Support to Act of Terrorism (F3) 2909.23 – Making Terroristic Threats (F3)

2909.26 – Criminal Possession of Chemical Weapon, Biological Weapon, Radiological or Nuclear Weapon or Explosive Device (F3, F2)

2909.27 – Criminal Use of Chemical Weapon, Biological Weapon, Radiological or Nuclear Weapon or Explosive Device (F2, F1)

2909.28 – Illegal Assembly or Possession of Chemicals or Substances for the Manufacture of Chemical Weapons, etc (F4)

2909.29 – Money Laundering in Support of Terrorism with value over $1000 (not F5, F4, F3, F2)


2917.33 – Unlawful Possession or Use of Hoax Weapon of Mass Destruction (F4)

2917.47 – Improperly Handling Infectious Agents (F2)


2921.02 – Bribery (F3) 2921.05 – Retaliation (F3)

2921.11 – Perjury (F3) 2921.12 – Tampering with Evidence (F3)

2921.13 – Falsification with value over $1000 or to obtain concealed handgun license (not F5; F4, F3) 2921.31 – Obstructing Justice with felony crime (not F5; F3)

2921.321 – Assaulting or Harassing a Police Dog/Service Dog with death of animal (F4, F3)

2921.33 – Resisting Arrest with brandishing of weapon (F4)

2921.331 – Failure to Comply – fleeing felony (F4, F3) 2921.35 – Aiding Escape (F4)

2921.36 – Illegal Conveyance of Weapons or Prohibited Items onto Detention Facility unless low level cash or alcohol (not F5; F4, F3)

2921.38 – Harassment with Bodily Substances (not F5; F3)

2921.41 – Theft in Office (not F5; F4, F3)

2921.42 – Felony Having Unlawful Interest in a Public Contract (F4)

2921.51 – Impersonating Peace Officer to commit an offense (F4, F3)

2921.52 – Using Sham Legal Process to commit a felony (F4, F3)

Chapter 2923: CONSPIRACY, ATTEMPT, AND COMPLICITY; WEAPONS CONTROL; CORRUPT ACTIVITY 2923.12 – Carrying Concealed Weapons (not F5; F4, F3)

2923.122 – Illegal Conveyance or Possession of a Deadly Weapon, etc in a School Safety Zone (not F5; F4)

2923.123 – Illegal Conveyance or Possession of Deadly Weapon into a Courthouse (not F5; F4)

2923.13 – Weapons Under Disability(F3)

2923.131 – Possession of Deadly Weapons While Under Detention (not F5; F4, F3, F2, F1)

2923.16 – Improper Handling in Motor Vehicle (not F5; F4)

2923.162 – Discharge of Firearm on or near Prohibited Premises (F4, F3, F1)

2923.17 – Unlawful Possession of Dangerous Ordnance; Illegally Manufacturing or Processing Explosives (not F5, F2) 2923.20 – Unlawful Transaction in Weapons (F4)

2923.201 – Defacing ID Marks of Firearm (F4)

2923.241 – Design, Building, Construction of a Vehicle with Hidden Compartments (F4, F3, F2)

2923.32 – Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity(F2, F1)

2923.42 – Participating in Criminal Gang (F2)


2927.11(A)(4) – Desecration Place of Worship (not F5; F4, F3)

2927.12 – Felony Ethnic Intimidation (not F5; F4, F3. F2. F1)