Attorney General Mike DeWine to form "Gun Crime Advisory Group"

by Jim Irvine

Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has announced that he will form an advisory group "to deal with the huge problem of convicted felons who are using guns" while they are committing more crimes. "There are a relatively small number of individuals in the state who commit the vast majority of violent crimes," DeWine said.

It may be concerning to gun owners that DeWine cited a flawed Columbus Dispatch series as part of his motivation for the study. It is unclear if DeWine knew that the referenced "study" was bought and paid for by the anti-gun Joyce Foundation for the specific purpose of "having a major public policy impact" on gun control laws when the press release was being written, but Buckeye Firearms Association has sent the information to his staff for their consideration.

Regardless of the origin of the idea, DeWine is right to pursue policies that remove repeat violent offenders from our streets. We don't solve crime by infringing on the rights of law abiding gun owner, but by prosecuting violent felons for their criminal actions. DeWine is right to target the people committing the crimes rather than the tools they use in the commission of those crimes.

Too often these types of committees are predestined to come up with a set of policies to support the political agenda of the person convening the committee. We were delighted to see that DeWine mentioned in his press release working with law enforcement groups and "people who represent organizations like the NRA (National Rifle Association) and victims' advocates." This unusual move should allow DeWine's group to have honest, intellectual discussions about the causes and solutions surrounding repeat violent offenders.

We often talk about how law enforcement and armed citizens are on the same side. We are the "good guys" who defend ourselves, and sometimes others when the "bad guys" attack. While some leaders of police groups have tried to work against the citizens who pay their salary, most officers are good people who want a good relationship with the community they serve. Removed from the limelight of the Statehouse, there exists the possibility for ideas to replace egos and for all individuals involved to work toward workable solutions for a problem that should concern everyone.

While we understand the concern many have about Mike DeWine and group to study criminals and their use of guns, we must acknowledge attempts to target the "people" who commit violent crime and efforts to deny them the opportunity to attack innocent victims. In this light, Buckeye Firearms Association has advised A.G. DeWine that we are willing to assist his efforts to find solutions to crime problems.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman.

Media Coverage:

DeWine takes aim at gun criminals

No one has been named to the group, but DeWine said the emphasis will be on selecting "law-enforcement people who deal with the problem every day," particularly those in major urban areas, as well as "people who represent organizations like the NRA (National Rifle Association) and victims' advocates."

Time to get tougher on some crimes

The issue: Gun violence in Ohio
Our view: DeWine smart to focus on ‘people who need to be off the streets’

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