COLUMBUS – Today, State Reps. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and Monique Smith (D-Fairview Park) filed a bill that would designate that the state sales tax revenue collected from firearms and ammunition purchases be used for programs that curb gun violence and support those affected. In 2021, it is estimated that Ohio collected approximately $24.5 million to $38 million in sales tax revenue from firearm and ammunition purchases.
“Enough is enough – it is time to take action and pass this meaningful legislation that will curb gun violence and compensate survivors of gun violence and the victims’ families,” said Rep. Sobecki.
“This bill is a new way to ‘Do Something,’ as Ohioans have demanded, to fight senseless mass shootings and gun violence,” said Rep. Smith. “In addition to promoting common sense gun safety, this bill will support victims of gun violence who may suffer from associated mental or physical trauma. This innovative approach allows us to both promote public safety and address the ongoing mental health epidemic we face in Ohio - two of my top priorities. I am proud to partner with Rep. Sobecki on this innovative bill.”
According to the legislation, the sales taxes collected on firearms and ammunition would be used for the following programs:
· Firearm Reparation Fund: 50% of the sales tax collected would go to the Firearm Reparation Fund, which would be used to compensate survivors of firearm violence and families of victims of firearm violence. The fund would be managed by the Ohio Attorney General.
· Mental Health and Gun Violence Prevention Programming: 30% of the sales tax collected would go to county Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Addiction boards to fund mental health and gun violence prevention programing and services. The amount allocated to each ADAMH board will be proportional based on the population served by each ADAMH board.
· Law Enforcement Community Relations Grants: 20% of the sales tax collected would go to a grant program specifically created to improve relations between communities and state and local law enforcement. The grant program would be administered by the Ohio Attorney General.
The legislation now awaits a bill number and House committee assignment.