Bipartisan Ohio Mayors' Group Lobbying Lawmakers On Gun Policy Changes

Aug 26, 2019

Mayors are actively lobbying state lawmakers to consider a package of changes to gun laws and mental health policy unveiled by Gov. Mike DeWine in the wake of the Dayton mass shooting earlier this month.

Democratic Dayton mayor Nan Whaley is a founding member of the Ohio Mayors Alliance, and a former Democratic candidate for governor. And she said she’d go further than DeWine’s plan.

“Recognizing that last year we were talking about guns in day care centers, I think we’re moving in a direction that’s more healthy for our state," Whaley said.

That law Whaley refers to allowed for concealed weapons to be carried in "vulnerable areas", including non-secure areas of airports such as baggage claim, college campuses and day care centers. Opponents called it the "Guns Everywhere" bill. It was was signed in 2016 but remains controversial.

Republican mayor David Scheffler from Lancaster is also part of the Ohio Mayors Alliance. He admits a red flag law and background checks can be a hard sell in southeast Ohio, but he supports those proposals.

“I’m an NRA member and a gun owner myself, but I know that we need to make some progress on that," Scheffler said.

In 2006, the state passed a law prohibiting local communities from passing their own gun control ordinances. That law was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court in 2010.