Columbus City Council Proposes Common Sense Gun Laws

Columbus City Council has proposed a new set of laws that a large majority of Americans support (especially in urban areas).

The proposals:

“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. 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.
  2. 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. Prohibit the brandishing or displaying of imitation firearms in a public place.
  4. Prohibit the alteration of an imitation firearm to remove its blaze orange plug, making it difficult to distinguish it from a real firearm.
  5. Prohibit the sale of imitation firearms to minors.
  6. Re-enact City Weapons Codes that mirror state law, including (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.
  7. Domestic Violence Ordinance that includes protections for intimate partners, including people in a dating relationship.
  8. Violation of a Protection Order Ordinance that 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.
  9. Surrendered Firearms Ordinance that mirrors state code provisions for storing and returning surrendered firearms.
  10. Add properties “upon which a felony offense of violence has occurred” to the Columbus City Code definition of a “public nuisance.”
  11. Amend the city zoning code to prohibit the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms in areas zoned residential.
  12. Expanding Weapons Reporting Processes including expansion on current processes to safely report people who have firearms, but shouldn’t, and better educate the residents on opportunities to safely surrender firearms and allow family, friends, and concerned citizens to report a minor with a weapon and have that weapon safely surrendered.

It is difficult to imagine anyone, even passionate gun owners, having issues with most of these if they are arguing in good faith. These are all eminently reasonable proposals, especially in a major American city recently plagued by an uptick in homicides.

The state of Ohio passed a law in 2006 that aims to prevent cities from passing their own gun control laws, but city attorney Zack Klein thinks these proposals are legal:

“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 … 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.”

See Klein discuss the proposals further here in this Dispatch video:

City Council will hold public discussions of these proposed ordinances; dates have not yet been announced.

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