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CENTRAL OHIO Groups argue over proposed gun ban



Published: Sat, June 18, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



There will be a public hearing on the proposal Thursday.

COLUMBUS (AP) -- Gun rights advocates say a proposed citywide ban on assault weapons is a "propaganda" tool to demonize all guns as part of a nationwide campaign.

That is not the case, said Melinda Swan, chief of staff for the city council, which will consider the ban next week.

Councilman Michael Mentel is introducing the ban at Monday's council meeting, and a public hearing on the proposal will come Thursday.

"It's campaign propaganda," said David Buda, an attorney representing the Peoples Rights Organization, which opposes the ban. City officials disagree with that characterization.

Mentel simply is "advocating what he believes public policy ought to be," said city attorney Richard Pfeiffer Jr., whose office worked on the legislation.

Buda said national antigun groups are testing assault weapons bans in a Democratically controlled city friendly to such proposals.

Although the ban is modeled on language from a national antigun group, Swan said the Legal Community Against Violence never approached the city, but she did seek the group's advice.

The proposal would outlaw the sale or possession of semiautomatic rifles with pistol grips and detachable magazines -- a standard Buda said is too broad.




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