COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) introduced legislation Monday to increase the penalty for repeated offenses of illegal firearm possession.
“The up-tick in gun violence plaguing Springfield over the last months has shown the importance of getting repeat violent offenders off our streets,” said Koehler. “I have been a steadfast supporter of the second amendment for my entire career and the sole intent of my bill is to protect law abiding citizens from the individuals choosing to engage in felonious activity with illegally obtained firearms.”
The legislation would raise the penalty for repeated offenses of illegally possessing a firearm to a second-degree felony, according to a release. When this violation is related to a past conviction of a “felony of violence,” the penalty will be increased to a second-degree felony on the first offense and a first-degree felony on a repeated offense.
Koehler said raising the charges related to illegal firearm possession will allow for longer jail and prison sentences for people committing violence in Ohio’s communities.
“It is time to stop trying to remove inanimate objects from law-abiding citizens and, instead, remove the individuals who repeatedly possess firearms illegally,” said Koehler.
“It has become clear that criminals are never going to obey the laws we write in Columbus. After talking with public safety officials, the only way to stop these individuals from illegally obtaining firearms is to keep them in prison. Increasing restrictions for law-abiding gun owners will not change that.”
The bill now awaits referral to a House committee.