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Government & Politics

Sittenfeld Pushes to Give Local Voters a Say on Gun Laws

photo of P.G. Sittenfeld
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The underdog Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate wants cities throughout Ohio to determine their own gun laws. And as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, he’s proposing changing the state Constitution to allow home rule on gun control.

Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld says many Ohio cities want to pass restrictions on guns but cannot do it because lawmakers have made that impossible.

“People who think that it is smart to allow guns in bars and day care centers aren’t overly amenable to common sense. So if Congress won’t act and the Statehouse won’t act, the only place where gun safety laws stand a reasonable chance of success is at the local level.”

Sittenfeld wants voters to decide if communities can make their own laws on firearms. But Republican State Rep. Ron Maag, who’s sponsoring a bill to allow concealed guns in more places, including preschools, says Sittenfeld’s proposal is not constitutional.

photo of Ron Maag
Credit JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
GOP Rep. Ron Maag is the sponsor of a bill that would allow concealed weapons in more places.

“You cannot be a felon in one jurisdiction and legal in another. So you know he’s just grasping at straws and trying to get his name in the news.”

A spokesman for former Gov. Ted Strickland, Sittenfeld’s primary opponent, writes that Strickland is always open to looking at ideas wherever they come from.