State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) today released a statement following the Ohio House passage of House Bill (HB) 228, the so-called Stand Your Ground bill, a Republican-sponsored effort to loosen gun safety standards by reducing firearm offenses, making it harder to prosecute gun violence cases and preempting local authority to enact commonsense safety protections for Ohio families.
“We’re constantly confronted with images of gun violence, and as public officials, it’s our responsibility to respond to these threats. Measures have been proposed regarding Red Flag laws, better background checks, protection from domestic violence offenders and more—but we are not considering those measures today.
“Instead, HB 228 guts Ohio’s concealed carry statute, making all of us less safe by making crimes such as illegally carrying a concealed handgun punishable by a slap on the wrist. The bill also implements ‘shoot first ask questions later’ provisions that only create a greater likelihood of gun violence.
“Finally, the bill keeps cities from passing gun safety ordinances. Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘The government closest to the people serves the people best.’ The issues are not the same in Belpre as they are in Cleveland as they are in Columbus. Let’s let the governments closest to their citizens do their duty to protect their communities.
“We have a gun violence epidemic--when we faced a similar epidemic in automobile fatalities --we didn't ban cars--we made their use safer--that's what we need to do here--we need to stand our ground for common sense gun safety legislation.”