Ohio Attorney General's "Violent Crime with Guns Advisory Group" holds first meeting; AG's goal is targeting repeat offenders
The office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that held the first meeting of the Ohio Attorney General's Violent Crime with Guns Advisory Group on Wednesday, July 7. The group discussed its mission, and DeWine emphasized that repeat gun offenders are the ones with which the group should be most concerned.
According to a press release, the advisory group was established to focus efforts on removing guns from repeat violent criminals and includes members representing local, state, and federal law enforcement, prosecutors, gun rights advocates, and victims advocates.
"The reality is that you are seeing the same people day after day after day committing violent crime with guns," DeWine said to the group, noting in the last 10 years there were 7,700 repeat offenders arrested, up from 492 four decades ago. "We need to get serious about going after the criminals with guns. The repeat violent offenders, who shouldn't have guns in the first place and who are most likely to cause violence with a gun in the future, have to be our target."
The advisory group's stated goal is to provide guidance to law enforcement and the Ohio General Assembly and how to best prevent gun crimes and keep repeat offenders in prison.
From WDTN (NBC Dayton):
The plan of attack is still a mystery, but groups like the Buckeye Firearms Association are in support as long as changes don't affect honest carry concealed license holders.
"It's very hard to do with laws, because any laws you enact, by default, the criminals are going to ignore," said Joe Eaton, Southwest Region leader for the Buckeye Firearms Association. "Simply just enacting laws more laws that impact the honest citizens of Ohio, is not going to get it done. We have tried that for decades have seen no change in the amount of violent crimes".
While Eaton's complete quote did not air, he says he also pointed out that it was only after multiple states began allowing concealed carry that we started to see a consistent and long term decline in violent crime.
According to data from the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI), arrests of repeat firearm offenders have increased 1400% in the past 40 years. Among those under the age of 20, BCI reports a 236% increase in persons with multiple firearm arrests over the past ten years.
According to the Gongwer News Service, the subject of firearm purchases at gun shows also came up among the group's discussion, but Mr. DeWine said he does not think that recently introduced legislation (HB263) calling for background checks for those sales is a priority.
"I'm about looking at things that are doable. I want results, I want things that we can do that will reduce crimes," he said.
Other subjects group members suggested they research include the gang statute, firearms tracing, arrestee bonds amounts, and improving the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway to meet their goals.
While the individual members of the committee have not been made public, BFA can report that a well known, award winning gun rights attorney who has represented many gun owners in court and has been involved with the drafting of the last 4 gun improvement bills, and who also holds an FFL, was invited to attend by AG DeWine.
DeWine said he hopes the group's recommendations for law enforcement, federal interaction and the General Assembly could be completed in three to four months.
Panel leery of easing gun-crime penalties
"My attitude has always been, you always have room in prison for people who are going to kill you," he said, noting that could mean more nonviolent offenders might need to be released.