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One Year After Dayton: Instead of Common-Sense Gun Safety Legislation, Ohio Lawmakers have Prioritized Stand Your Ground and Arming-Teachers Bills

July 30, 2020

Next week marks one year since the mass shooting in Dayton – one year since Ohioans demanded that leaders “do something” to end gun violence and Governor Dewine called for background checks on all gun sales and a red flag law in Ohio.

In the year since the mass shooting, estimates show that over 1,500 Ohioans have died by gun violence and still Ohio leaders have done nothing to act on gun safety. Governor Dewine has since retreated on his promise to prioritize common-sense gun legislation, instead backing a bill that does not require background checks on all gun sales or create a red flag law. And the legislature has swung in the opposite direction, fast-tracking bills that would increase the risk of gun violence, including Stand Your Ground legislation and a bill to roll back training requirements for teachers and school staff carrying guns in schools.

Bipartisan bills to require background checks on all gun sales and to create a red flag law were introduced in the Ohio Senate shortly after the shooting but neither bill received further debate after an initial hearing. 

Meanwhile, Stand Your Ground – a policy known for helping white shooters avoid criminal prosecution and putting Black people at further risk of gun violence –  received four hearings in the Senate and is moving through the House committee process. Research shows Stand Your Ground laws actually lead to more gun homicides and make communities less safe.

Ohio lawmakers are also fast-tracking SB317, a bill to exempt teachers who carry guns in schools from the peace officer training required under current law. Research shows that arming teachers doesn’t make children safer; in fact, it increases the chances of gun violence in schools by increasing the risk that a teachers’ gun will fall into the wrong hands, or that a gun will discharge unintentionally and injure a student.

Volunteers with Ohio Moms Demand Action have been at the statehouse for every hearing on these extreme bills to weaken gun laws and will continue to show up to tell lawmakers that the majority of people in Ohio support gun sense. In the meantime, as the election nears, volunteers are putting their grassroots power behind electing gun sense candidates up and down the ballot.

Moms Demand Action volunteers are available for interviews. More information about the risks of Stand Your Ground policies are available here, and information about arming teachers is here. Statistics about gun violence in Ohio are available here, and information on how Ohio’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here

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