DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Opinions are predictably mixed in the Miami Valley as pro-Second Amendment advocates and gun control supporters clashed over the president’s new gun proposals.
Buckeye Firearms Association says Biden’s proposed gun control plan may be invalid due to the U.S. Constitution.
“They’re talking about banning firearms which are just everyday rifles, that is unconstitutional,” said Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “When they’re talking about banning magazines because they have too many rounds, that’s unconstitutional. If they want to just enforce current laws, that’s perfectly constitutional and what they should be doing.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley thinks otherwise. She says Biden has been very supportive during the Mayors Challenge Conferences listening to gun control concerns.
“I think anytime where we can see the Rescue Plan having more flexibility to use funds to provide services and the Department of Justice really stepping up are two really important points to get illegal guns off the street,” said Whaley.
The Buckeye Firearms Association claims the president’s plan will harm law-abiding gun owners instead of focusing on criminals and gun violence. Rieck says leaders at the city level must step up first before restrictive gun laws are enacted. However, Whaley believes local leadership isn’t the problem, adding gun violence rates in her city have stayed fairly consistent.
Whaley has long been calling for gun reform in the wake of the Dayton mass shooting. She says illegal guns are the issue, and wants them off the streets. But Rieck claims this proposal is just a distraction.
“It’s just phony-bologna politics when they talk about all these background checks that aren’t happening,” said Rieck. “It’s not going to be an issue at all, it’s just going to be another law they want to pass. We’ve seen whole cities burning down and city officials just shrugging and not doing anything about it, that’s insane.”
One element of the president’s proposal would prevent people with mental health issues from possessing a firearm. Similar measures were proposed by Governor Mike DeWine at the state level after the Dayton mass shooting, but no progress has been made on that plan.