Gun Rights Groups Tell City Council to Vote No on Cleveland Gun Law

From left, Jim Tekavec, Ken Hanson and Doug Deeken voice their opposition to proposed city gun restrictions.
From left, Jim Tekavec, Ken Hanson and Doug Deeken voice their opposition to proposed city gun restrictions.
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Members of three gun rights groups told the council’s Public Safety Committee the law would do little to rein in violent criminals, while unfairly burdening responsible gun owners.

They also pointed out the city lost a 2010 state Supreme Court case over similar restrictions. That ruling upheld statewide gun regulations that supersede local ones.

Committee members asked the speakers what gun rules they would support for curbing violence.

"I think what needs to happen with the registry is you really need to target it at the people who are causing the violence," said Ken Hanson, legislative director for the Buckeye Firearms Association. He said the proposed gun offender registry shouldn’t include people with status offenses, like buying a gun without a background check.

"The people that are committing these crimes are people that have prior violent offenses," he said.

Hanson said more policing, longer prison terms, and gun safety lessons in schools could also help.

Doug Deeken is a coordinator with Ohioans for Concealed Carry, but said he spoke for himself. He said evil in the hearts of men is the root of violence, and that’s a spiritual problem, not a legislative one.

The Ohio Gun Collectors Association had more concrete worries. Jim Tekavec said his group would have to cancel its annual gun show at the I-X Center if the proposal passes.

The legislation would require private gun sales and stolen firearms be reported to police, and limit buyers to one gun every 90 days, among other measures.

Wednesday’s hearing was set aside for the legislation’s opponents. Supporters will have their say October 15th.

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