Whaley joins gun groups to kick off petition drive for universal background checks

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WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 25: Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley testifies before the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing on assault weapons in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill September 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. During the hearing titled Protecting America from Assault Weapons, the committee heard testimony from politicians, physicians, lobbyists and others about the type of weapon used in many of the recent mass shootings. Colt announced last week that it is suspending manufacture of its popular AR-15 rifle for consumers, but will still make them for military and law enforcement. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS (WDTN) – Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley joined gun control activists and groups in Columbus to kick off a petition drive to force legislatures to take action on gun control.

The measure was announced by Ohioans for Gun Safety, the Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Students Demand Action, in addition to Whaley.

Gun control in Ohio has become a major topic after nine people were killed and 27 others were injured in a mass shooting in the Oregon District in August.

In order for the petition drive to be successful, Ohioans for Gun Safety need to collect at least 130,000 signatures from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties by the end of 2019. The petition would force Ohio legislators to take action on universal background checks.

To help gather the signatures, there will be some paid gatherers.

“With this Republic legislature, that is the only time we ever see any action is when people actually do make make movement like on redistricting, like on criminal justice reform,” Mayor Whaley said. “So it is the only time that we actually see them really listen to the public, is through initiated statute.”

If the petition drive is successful but legislators refuse or do not pass sufficient legislation, more petitions can be gathered to put it on the November 2020 ballot.

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