DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – In response to recent mass shootings, the Dayton City Commission is calling on the governor and state lawmakers to pass stronger gun regulations.
The commissioners sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine Wednesday reminding him of when he promised to do something to prevent gun violence following the 2019 Oregon District mass shooting.
The commissioners said since 2019, they’ve advocated for lawmakers to pass the STRONG Ohio bill, improvements to background check systems and helped in the process to develop a mass shooting protocol distributed to cities nationwide.
However, Dayton leaders said nothing has been done at the state level.
“Until those lawmakers begin to understand what it may be like to lose a family member, to lose a child, to lose a friend, maybe nothing’s going to happen, but we can’t stop trying here,” Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims Jr. said.
In the letter, the commissioners spoke out against the “stand your ground” law signed last year and the “constitutional carry” law that goes into effect on June 13.
They also asked for DeWine to veto House Bill 99, which would allow lower required training for school staff to carry firearms in school buildings.
Commissioner Matt Joseph said Dayton residents have come to them asking for changes to gun law, but cities are prevented by the state from taking any action on their own.
“We feel helpless because the power that we have to save our residents, to serve our residents, has been taken away from us systematically over the years and that’s not right,” Joseph said. “And in this case, we have a governor who said he would help us, said publicly that he would help us, said privately that he would help us, and he has not.”
Joseph said the city has had to get creative on their own to prevent gun violence through education and working with community partners to try to reduce the violence in Dayton.