Columbus Mayor's solution to 8 shootings, none with "assault rifles?" Ban "assault rifles!"
There were eight shootings in Columbus, OH on the weekend of July 11-12, resulting in 10 people shot and three people dead.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has a unique proposal to solve the problem: ban a firearm that wasn't used in a single one of these crimes.
From WBNS (CBS Columbus):
“Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals will make our community and our police officers safer,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said.
“And if state and federal officials will not take action, at least get out of our way so we can do what we know will make our family and neighborhoods safer,” Ginther said.
Wanting clarity on what changes might look like for Ginther and his office, his staff replied to 10TV News with this:
“Specifically universal background checks and banning assault rifles. As you are probably aware, the state has banned municipalities from instituting their own common sense gun laws even when it’s what residents want.”
According to Columbus Police, out of the eight shootings this past weekend, none of them involved an assault rifle.
You read that right - Mayor Ginther's solution to a spate of shootings with a completely different type of firearm is to ban assault weapons.
What Ginther isn't saying, and what many Columbus residents may not remember, is that once upon a time Columbus did have an assault weapons ban. And they almost never used it to prosecute crimes.
That's because Columbus, like any other city in Ohio, may only pass misdemeanor ordinances, while pretty much ANY gun crime is a felony in Ohio. Therefore, when there are charges split between a misdemeanor and a felony, the municipal prosecutor always defers to the county prosecutor for the felony prosecution.
A prime example of how impotent Columbus' previous assault weapons ban was came in 2006 when former Ohio State Buckeye running back Maurice Clarett was found to have a loaded AK-47 rifle in the front seat of his car (along with several loaded handguns and a half-loaded bottle of Grey Goose vodka) when he was pulled over by police. He was not charged with violating the city's assault weapons ban.
This previous history in Columbus is why we can confidently say that Ginther's idea will not work - it's already been tried (and tried, and tried, and tried).
Again, from WBNS:
“That’s just not going to have an effect,” Rieck said. “All that’s going to do is further the burden, the people who are obeying the laws right now with their privately owned firearms.”
Rieck says how to stop violence is to go to the neighborhoods where it’s happening and let police do their jobs.
“If there’s a fire in your kitchen, you get the fire extinguisher and you go to the kitchen,” he said. You don’t go out to your garage and change the tires on your car."
Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.