Ohio State Senator Shirley Smith (D) proposes assault weapons ban, gun registration

by Chad D. Baus

The Cincinnati News is reporting that State Sen. Shirley Smith, a BFA "D"-rated Cleveland Democrat, has introduced Senate Bill 18, legislation that would ban so-called "assault weapons" in Ohio and create a state database of all guns and ammunition transactions.

From the article:

"While we cannot stop every act of suffering inflicted upon the public by depraved individuals, I believe that it is our responsibility to limit access to unreasonably dangerous weapons and to hold each person accountable for their firearm purchases," Smith said.

The bill so far is only a placeholder, she said; she will introduce a substitute bill "after all stakeholders have been consulted," she said in her statement. Here's more from her statement.

"I hope that extensive discussion with these interested parties will lead to reasonable compromise on a bill that can pass with bipartisan support," said Senator Smith. "The Second Amendment has deep roots in American history, but we also must recognize that our rights and freedoms come with real responsibilities."

"Gun control is a complex subject, and I appreciate and understand its cultural intricacies," Senator Smith continued. "I have introduced this legislation because of the recent horrific episodes of mass murder in the United States. Even in Ohio, three youth were killed at their high school. In just four different situations, 48 innocent lives were taken by gunmen last year. These 48 reasons teach us why it is important to ban weapons that increase the efficiency of killing humans."

Smith failed to explain why she believes her ban would turn out any different than the one in Connecticut did (a similar ban was in place in that state when the Sandy Hook attack occurred).

Smith also failed to explain why she believes a gun registration scheme would turn out any differently than similar schemes in Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C, and the entire country of Canada - all of which have failed in their stated goal of reducing crime.

She can talk all she wants about finding "reasonable compromise" that could earn bi-partisan support, but at a time when the country is demanding meaningful policies that will protect our children (such as efforts going on across the state to arm school employees), Democrats like Shirley Smith have nothing but worn out ideas that have been tried before and proven a failure.

Perhaps instead of being given press time to continue her attacks on law-abiding gun owners, Smith should instead be forced to answer questions about legislation she sponsored in 2005, which sought to seal criminal records of felons and repeat offenders and might have made it even easier for these criminals to get guns.

Why did Smith seek to give felon repeat offenders a pass in 2005, but is now targeting law-abiding gun owners?

Why is it that Smith was so concerned with the privacy of convicted felons in 2005, yet at the same time sat idly by while the names and other private information of thousands of law-abiding CHL-holders was published in her hometown newspaper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer?

Why is it that Smith put the privacy concerns of convicted criminals ahead of the law-abiding in our society who have undergone extensive training and background checks?

Smith's gun control bill should be dead on arrival in the Ohio Senate, but even though the bill won't move, know this:

Buckeye Firearms Assocation will actively campaign against any Senator who chooses to put their name on the bill as a co-sponsor.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

Additional Media Coverage:

Ohio Democrats Introduce Sweeping "Assault Weapons" Ban

"I feel very strongly about the Second Amendment and I support the Second Amendment," Ohio Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney told Cincinnati Enquirer reporters in January. Weeks later, Kearney signed on as a cosponsor to Senator Smith's gun control bill.

Senator Kearney's supposedly pro-Second Amendment views contrast not only with his co-sponsorship of SB 18, but also with his voting history. Kearney received a "D-" rating from the Buckeye Firearms Association, a group that lobbies in defense of Ohioans' Second Amendment rights.

Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman Chad Baus slammed Smith's anti-gun bill as political gamesmanship, noting that similar bans on "assault weapons" have a history of being ineffective. In fact, a recently leaked U.S. Department of Justice memorandum concluded that the expansion of "assault weapon" bans and firearms registration databases are "unlikely to have an impact on gun violence."

"People are tired of these political games," Baus told Media Trackers before predicting SB 18 will go largely ignored by state legislators. The Republican Party controls both houses of the Ohio General Assembly.

"Some politicians just want to be able to say they voted for "something'," Baus wrote, citing the failure of similar firearm registries and gun ownership restrictions to curb violence in other states. "Shouldn't the goal be to vote for something that will work, rather than something we know won't?"

Baus opined that Senate Democrats were jumping on a gun control bandwagon currently progressing through other state legislatures, and adhering to "the notion that you should never let a good crisis to go to waste." He added that Senator Smith and others appear "willing to use the deaths of these kids in an attempt to further their anti-Second Amendment agenda."

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