Gun violence

police on the courthouse steps

Northeast Ohio is not exempt from the rising tide of gun violence sweeping across the nation.

But the pandemic has brought challenges hindering the work of Summit County law enforcement agencies.

Akron Police report the department’s rate for solving murders this year is 69 percent higher than the national average.

A Democratic state lawmaker is angry that an Ohio House colleague is claiming a bill she’s proposed would do things it wouldn’t do.

photo of guns

A quarter of the Ohio House – all Republicans – have signed on to a new “stand your ground” self-defense bill introduced last month.

That’s setting up suggestions that it could be part of a compromise to pass the gun violence plan backed by Gov. Mike DeWine following the mass shooting in Dayton. 

Photo of Mike DeWine

Two weeks after Governor Mike DeWine unveiled his so-called STRONG Ohio gun control package, groups on both sides of the issue are ramping up the rhetoric.

The plan disappointed many who wanted universal background checks and a law allowing a judge to take guns from someone deemed a threat. DeWine called for both after the Oregon District mass shooting.

Now, both sides are lobbying lawmakers as they consider DeWine’s gun violence bill. 

A photo of Matt Dolan

The gun violence bill that Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled two months after the Dayton mass shooting will soon have its first hearing in the Ohio Senate. The bill has been criticized by some gun rights advocates for going too far and some gun control activists for not going far enough. Its sponsor is defending the plan, which does not include mandatory background checks but does offer a version of a red flag gun seizure law.

Photo of Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine’s package of proposals to reduce gun violence through mental health and gun policy changes is getting mixed reviews. 

House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) says the so-called STRONG Ohio plan is weak, especially since it doesn’t include required background checks, which DeWine said early on he wanted and which Democrats have been pushing for.

“It makes it much harder for people in our caucus to get behind something that we don’t quite see as legitimate and strong and what people have requested from us,” Sykes said. 


Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Oct. 14:

On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine laid out the details of his 17-point plan – the STRONG Ohio plan – to address gun violence in the wake of the Aug. 4 mass shooting in Dayton that left nine dead and dozens wounded.

It is a plan, the Republican governor said, the Ohio legislature – dominated by his fellow Republicans – would vote to approve.

photo of Akron Public Schools headquarters

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Oct. 8:

Two months and a day after Gov. Mike DeWine announced he was working on a plan to address gun violence after a mass shooting in Dayton, he’s unveiled a bill that he says lawmakers will approve.

Gov. Mike DeWine's 17-point plan to address gun violence in the state following the recent mass shooting includes freeing up space at state psychiatric hospitals for people threatening violence or suicide.

Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and Rep. D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron)

A pair of House Republicans are pushing for a bill that would mandate better reporting into the database used for background checks on gun sales. They say it's an important step in addressing gun violence. 

Representatives Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron) are introducing legislation that requires criminal convictions, warrants, indictments, and other information to be added into the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System within one day.

Plummer says this will lead to more accurate and timely background checks.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Oct. 1:

photo of DeWine, Obhof, and Housholder

It's been more than six weeks since Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled a comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence, which included expanded background checks and a version of the red flag confiscation law. But so far lawmakers have yet to see those specific plans in the form of proposed legislation.

DeWine said he wants to close the background check loopholes in personal gun sales. He also wants to expand the ability for courts to confiscate weapons from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

But so far no official bills have been proposed.

Of the seven bills the Ohio Senate's Government Oversight and Reform Committee heard today, three were bipartisan.

gun and bullets

State lawmakers are back in action holding more hearings on gun regulation bills. And Gov. Mike DeWine is still pushing for his proposals. But Congress has yet to show an interest in moving gun issues on the federal level, with provisions getting blocked in the Senate. 

The standoff is over background checks. The U.S. House has passed a bill to close loopholes but the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate has refused to move on the issue so far.

Updated at 3:22 p.m. ET

The death toll from a mass shooting carried out by a gunman in the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa has risen from five to seven, and 22 others remain injured, officials said on Sunday.

Authorities said a man armed with an "AR-type weapon" was killed by police just moments before heading toward a crowded movie theater, preventing what investigators said could have been an even deadlier rampage.

Police in Mobile, Ala. have arrested a 17-year-old in connection with a shooting incident that injured 10 teenagers at a high school football game Friday evening. The suspect has been charged with nine counts of attempted murder.

photo of pistols and ammunition

Cleveland City Council has voted to accept a $375,000 grant from a private foundation to fund gunshot detection technology. The technology would alert law enforcement when gunshots are detected in a high-crime area on the city’s east side, where the program is slated to be tested.

Fourth District Commander Brandon Kutz said the area has been prone to violence.

Strong majorities of Americans from across the political spectrum support laws that allow family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove guns from a person who is seen to be a risk to themselves or others, according to a new APM Research Lab/Guns & America/Call To Mind survey.

Cincinnati is filing a lawsuit against the State of Ohio over Ohio House Bill 228, which Mayor John Cranley said preempts cities from enacting legislation to reduce gun violence.  

This is Akron: Crime, Gunfire Leave Akron Residents Shaken

Apr 7, 2019
A photo of Rochelle, left, and Ryan Reed with their children Mackenzie Steiner 11, Sam Bartel 22, and Kaiden Gomes at their home on South Arlington Street on Friday, March 29, 2019 in Akron, Ohio.

Jacqueline Easley feels a deepening dread every Thursday.

"It's the weekend, and I wonder who's going to get shot and killed now," said Easley, 59, who lives in West Akron and owns a beauty shop on Copley Road.

She usually keeps those worries to herself. But after seeing a group of high school girls at an Akron City Council meeting April 1 — the night after two Akron men were killed in separate shootings — Easley took the mic.

photo of Victory Over Violence

Several Akron churches hosted a rally against violence over the weekend, and their pastors say it’s just the first step toward engaging people in their West Akron neighborhoods.

News conference held at Akron police headquarters

Over the last 10 days, 16 people were wounded or killed in shooting incidents in Akron. The city’s mayor and police chief addressed the unprecedented outbreak of gun violence during a news conference Monday.

Akron Police Chief Kenneth Ball said that, despite the spike in shootings, Akron’s crime statistics are down across the board for the year, even homicides.  But, he said, the recent deadly violence shows the need to do more.

Photo of Akron
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, June 19: