Home Social Justice Ohio, National Reps Explore Gun Laws in Wake of Newtown Tragedy

Ohio, National Reps Explore Gun Laws in Wake of Newtown Tragedy

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In the aftermath of the second deadliest school shooting, just behind the Virginia Tech Massacre, the Connecticut school shooting that left 27 dead has once again sparked the debate over gun control.

As more information was released about the Newtown tragedy, calls for more gun control have flooded Congress and the airwaves. There is an underlying factor that throws a very unique twist into the story. Many are calling for stricter gun control, but it is important to note that a Washington Post article showed Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. In fact, Connecticut was in the top five states with the strictest gun control, but nonetheless was the location of a tragedy that left 20 children dead.

Despite the laws, 2012 proved to be a deadly year that included the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Aurora Colorado shooting and the Chardon High School shooting in Ohio, which left three dead. In total, these three shootings combined for the slaughter of 42 people.

In light of the Newtown tragedy, Democratic Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge was active on the House floor calling for more legislation to end the shootings.

“The issue of eradicating gun violence is ripe, and we must act now,” said Fudge. She advocates for a ban on all assault weapons.

Besides Fudge, others in Congress are adamantly trying push through more gun control laws. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a victim of the Tucson, Arizona shooting, and her husband Mark Kelly are taking the initiative by calling for a ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.

Although Giffords and her husband want a ban on assault weapons, they both said in an op-ed for USA Today that they do not want to take away guns from owners.

“What we do want is what the majority of NRA members and other Americans want: responsible changes in our laws to require responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence,” wrote Giffords and Kelly.

Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman supports the Second Amendment but is open to discussion about the issue as long as restriction does not go too far. In addition, Portman believes armed guards would be effective deterrents of gun violence at schools.

Gun laws in Ohio are not as strict as other states. In fact, no permit or license is needed to own a handgun, shotgun or rifle. Although the laws are not as strict, Ohio does not permit drug addicts, people who are mentally incompetent or  fugitives to own a firearm. Lastly, Ohio does not allow a gun owner to conceal a handgun if he or she does not own a concealed handgun license.

Recently, Gov. John Kasich amended House Bill 495 that included a provision that would allow law-abiding citizens who are gun owners to keep firearms in their cars in some government-owned properties.

The debate continues on all levels of government. The NRA met with Vice President Joe Biden recently to discuss the issue.

“We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment,” said the NRA.

Biden is scheduled to deliver his recommendations from his various meetings, which included universal background checks, to President Obama on Tuesday, Jan. 15.  The President has vowed to take action in the aftermath of Newtown.


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