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Columbus presses forward with new gun restrictions

A federal appeals court upheld the core parts of gun control laws in New York and Connecticut that ban semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Rich Pedroncelli
/
AP
A council committee holds a public hearing Tuesday on the plan to ban the sale of magazines that hold 30 or more rounds.

Columbus City Council is moving forward on a promise to pursue new gun restrictions.

A council committee holds a public hearing Tuesday on the plan to ban the sale of magazines that hold 30 or more rounds. The draft legislation would also:

  • Prohibit the negligent storage of firearms
  • Prohibit recklessly selling, lending, giving or furnishing a firearm to a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm, to prohibit an individual from purchasing or attempting to purchase a firearm to sell to a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm
  • Incorporate "ghost guns" into the existing definitions of firearm

The proposal comes amid an ongoing legal fight with the state over local control of gun laws. A judge recently put a temporary hold on a state law banning cities from passing their own gun laws. That judge then put a stay on the case as the state writes an appeal.
Speaking to WOSU earlier this month, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said his office will fight to lift the stay and then work through the court to permanently enshrine local control of gun restrictions.

"The preliminary injunction remains in effect and the legislative calendar being laid out by leaders at City Hall remains unchanged. The City Attorney’s Office is ready to continue this lawsuit once the stay is lifted so that we can make the injunction against the State’s unconstitutional firearms law permanent," Klein said.

The state maintains it has the authority to block local governments from enacting their own restrictions.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther recently said city lawmakers are also eyeing red-flag laws and restrictions on AR-15 rifles in the city.

Gun rights advocates think the city is overstepping its legal authority to regulate firearms in Ohio and is using the issue to make a political statement.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.