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Ohioans for Gun Safety Brings Signature Drive to Women's March

photo of petition sign
At women's marches around Ohio on Saturday, a grassroots group was gathering signatures as part of a drive for background checks on gun sales.

At Women’s Marches around the state over the weekend, a grassroots group collected signatures as part of a drive for mandatory background checks on gun sales.

The group Ohioans for Gun Safety had about a half-dozen volunteers at each of the marches in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Delaware, and Westerville on Saturday, collecting signatures they plan to submit by the end of this year. After that, spokesman Dennis Willard says they’ll be calling on the state legislature to pass laws requiring background checks. If not, they’ll file to get the issue before voters in November 2021.

“There’s a lot of issues that you can debate around gun safety. But we think this is the one that’s most plausible, passable, and possible.

“We’re going to give the legislature their shot at doing their job. We’re going to deliver the signatures, give them four months to pass this themselves. And if they don’t, we’re going to go directly to the voters, where we believe we’re going to be successful.”

Willard says they’re still counting the signatures collected over the weekend, but he feels that after Saturday, they’re likely close to having the required amount. They received significant support from heavily populated areas like Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Franklin Counties.

He adds that their petition drive – started last summer – has received bipartisan support from lawmakers. Ohioans For Gun Safety is planning to release a list of those supporters next month.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.