The Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after lawmakers today introduced HB 360, a bill designating June as Gun Violence Awareness Month. The bill was introduced by Ohio Representatives Monique Smith and Jessica Miranda, a former Moms Demand Action volunteer. The bill’s introduction comes in the wake of continued efforts to repeal common-sense gun laws by the Ohio legislature.
“Every gun violence measure in Ohio is a critical step in addressing this public health crisis,” said Tony D’Ambrosio, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Ohio Republicans and Governor DeWine have continuously chosen their loyalty to the gun lobby over Ohioan lives. The introduction of a bill designating June as gun violence awareness month helps acknowledge the gun violence crisis and the work that needs to be done at a moment when far too many lawmakers in Ohio have cowered.”
This year, Governor DeWine signed two bills into law that eliminated Ohio’s permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public and allowed teachers to bring firearms into learning environments with minimal training despite widespread public opposition. Republicans also introduced SB 357, legislation that falsely purported to strengthen the state’s background check system, and included a potentially harmful re-defining of “terrorism” to exclude extremist acts committed by US citizens, which could undermine efforts to combat violent extremism. Volunteers with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action tirelessly advocated against all of these bills during the legislative session.
In an average year, 1,602 people die and 3,753 people are wounded by guns in Ohio. Gun violence costs Ohio $22.3 billion each year, of which $493.7 million is paid by taxpayers. Learn more about gun violence in Ohio here.