COLUMBUS – State Rep. Willis Blackshear Jr. (D-Dayton) today issued a statement following the horrific elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which reportedly killed 19 children and two teachers.
“I am saddened by the events that took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. This is the 27th school shooting in the U.S. this year. The majority of Americans agree that we need to DO SOMETHING, but unfortunately, legislatures across the country, including here in Ohio, have loosened gun restrictions making our communities less safe,” said Rep. Blackshear.
“In 2019 after the mass shooting in Dayton, I joined my neighbors in chanting "Do Something" while Governor DeWine was addressing us in the Oregon District. He said he would do something, and we took him at his word. He has done nothing but let us down. Instead of making us safer, he and Statehouse Republicans have made Ohio more dangerous. Instead of passing background checks, they have passed bills like Stand Your Ground and Senate Bill 215, that will allow anyone to carry a gun without a license. Governor DeWine signed both of these bills. This is not what we had in mind when we asked him to do something.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families that have lost loved ones and with the town of Uvalde, Texas. I will continue to vote against any legislation that makes our communities more vulnerable to gun violence, and I urge my colleagues to join me.”
Ohio Democrats have introduced various pieces of gun safety legislation, including:
· HB 38 (West, Miller, A.) Repeal “Stand Your Ground”
· SB 73 (Thomas) / HB 259 (Robinson, Miller, A.) Universal background checks
· SB 74 (Thomas) Raise minimum age to purchase firearm to 21
· SB 75 (Thomas, Williams) Regulate transfer of firearms at gun shows
· SB 76 (Thomas, Craig) / HB 274 (Upchurch, Jarrells) Restore local control to regulate firearms-related conduct
· SB 77 (Thomas) Ban bump stocks and other items that accelerate semi-automatic firearms
· SB 138 (Williams) / HB 257 (Russo, Smith, M.) Enact Extreme Risk Protection Order Act (“Red Flag” law)
· SB 205 (Thomas) Gun Violence Awareness Month
· HB 262 (Miranda, Kelly) Prohibit negligent firearm storage
· HB 360 (Miranda, Smith) Designate Gun Violence Awareness Month
· HB 661 (Crossman, Hicks-Hudson) Require gun trigger locks with firearm sales
Meanwhile, Republicans have continued to prioritize legislation that opponents say will make Ohioans less safe, including the recently-passed law allowing gun owners to conceal carry without a license or training. Gun violence is a public health issue impacting the safety and security of Ohio children and families, and it deserves our immediate attention.