New gun bill is good start to curb violence

Lawmakers looking to reduce the number of gun crimes without stepping on the Second Amendment have to take a precise approach if they are to do any good. In Columbus, it seems the “Repeat Offenders Act” might be a good start.

Introduced by Reps. Bernie Willis, R-Springfield, and Josh Williams, R-Sylvania Township, the bill would increase penalties for a person caught a second or third time having a gun illegally, according to a report by WBNS-TV. It would increase penalties for using a gun during a violent crime and provide mandatory sentences for some offenses.

“These repeat offenders, people who have been told by judges at sentencing, you shall never own a gun or ammunition again in your life unless your rights are restored; some of them get out and within six months they’re caught doing another crime,” Williams said, according to WBNS.

The idea is not to affect responsible, legal gun owners while addressing criminals who use guns.

“This bill is surgically targeted toward not owners but actors that use guns for illegal reasons,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said, according to WBNS. “This will make our cities safer, it will take the bad guys with guns off the street and not affect the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, noted this legislation does cover one piece of the problem, but there is still work to do.

Surely the proposal will require some adjustments — almost everything does. But at first glance, it seems to be a thoughtful approach to a problem we must never stop trying to solve.


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