Ryan discusses gun issues with officials

Staff report


U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan met with about 15 police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors from Trumbull, Mahoning, Portage and Summit counties Thursday for “an open and productive discussion with those who deal with [gun] issues every day.”

“Now, I sit down with police, and in the next week or two I will talk with gun groups just to get everything out on the table,” he said.

Ryan of Niles, D-13th, had the meeting at his Warren office.

“Recent gun-related tragedies have caused many — including myself — to ask whether we as a nation are doing enough to prevent guns from getting into the hands of criminals and the mentally ill,” he said.

“I hold the opinions of our local police officers and prosecutors in the highest esteem; they confront shootings, killings and gun crimes that plague our cities and towns. Before I make any legislative decisions regarding new gun laws, I want to hear from every side of the issue and come away with an informed perspective.”

The U.S. Senate opened hearings Wednesday on gun control, one of many discussions after the killing of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.

Ryan added, “We don’t want any more mass killings at places like movie theaters and schools.”

Ryan said he knows various interest groups have widely divergent attitudes toward guns. In fact, it’s likely the police officials don’t agree among themselves on every point.

“I just want to get a sense in Ohio where the points of agreement are on this,” he said. “I’m not here to be an ideologue one way or the other.”

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