Talk It Out: Should Ohio lawmakers let communities write their own gun laws?

February 26, 2018

Talk It Out: Should Ohio lawmakers let communities write their own gun laws?

In 2006, the Republican-led legislature passed Substitute House Bill 347, which blocked cities and villages from passing gun-restriction laws that were more restrictive than state gun laws. Since Ohio gun laws are very relaxed, the bill handcuffed cities that wanted to ban semiautomatic rifles or require gun registries, for example.

As cleveland.com columnist Thomas Suddes reminded readers in his most recent post, then-Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican, vetoed Substitute House Bill 347. He worried that it would leave cities vulnerable to gun violence.

“This vast prohibition of local control is unwarranted and fails to consider the differing challenges and circumstances faced by different communities and regions of the state,” he wrote.

Lawmakers ignored Taft and overrode his veto. Cleveland and other communities challenged the bill in court and ultimately lost before the Ohio Supreme Court.

The bill and that case are at the heart of the debate over guns in Ohio. Gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich announced last week plans to pressure lawmakers to reconsider the law. He also saw the issue as way to poke his top opponent in the primary, Richard Cordray, who was attorney general in 2006 and defended the law.

Do you think lawmakers should change the law to allow cities the right to write their own gun laws?

Join us today from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to discuss the issue.

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