A Republican lawmaker in Ohio has joined forces with her Democratic colleagues to pass gun-control legislation in the state.
Immediately following the mass shooting in Dayton, State Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) wrote on Twitter that “we must mourn today but take action tomorrow.”
“I pray that my colleagues in the Ohio legislature will join me in passing long overdue common sense gun legislation as soon as possible,” she said. “Let’s make America safe again.”
We must mourn today but take action tomorrow. I pray that my colleagues in the Ohio legislature will join me in passing long overdue common sense gun legislation as soon as possible. Let’s make America safe again.
— Peggy Lehner (@peggylehner) August 4, 2019
On Monday, Lehner announced that she’s partnered with State Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Avondale) to reintroduce two gun reform bills—one requiring universal background checks and another raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21.
According to a press release, Lehner has also joined with State Sen. Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) in sponsoring a red-flag bill.
“We might never know how many tragedies will be averted by this legislation but I have no doubt that these bills will saves lives,” Lehner said. “Whether it be on a school playground, in a church where we gather to pray, or in a crowded entertainment district, this legislation will keep a gun out of the hands of someone intent on evil.”
“The time for this legislation is long overdue and I pray that this legislature honors those whose lives have already been taken by passing it swiftly,” she added.
Thomas introduced similar versions of the bills during the last legislative session, but didn’t receive any support from the Republican-controlled Senate. In a press release, Lehner’s office said that she “expressed her interest in having the legislation redrafted with her support as a joint sponsor.”
Lehner represents the city of Kettering, a suburb of Dayton.
“The Dayton tragedy has brought us all closer together and through our sorrow, we are determined to curb senseless gun violence,” Thomas said. “These bills are common sense and widely supported. Most importantly, they make it harder for guns to fall into the wrong hands. I’m glad to have Senator Lehner’s support as we work to pass meaningful gun reforms that will saves lives.”
CNN host SE Cupp, who recently announced that she’s quitting the NRA, had Lehner on her podcast to discuss the bills.
“I don’t have the highest of hopes that we’re going to be able to get it through,” Lehner told Cupp. “I have the same concern that you do, you know, that we’ll cry about it today, we’ll shake our heads, we’ll say something has to be done. But two weeks from now the cameras move on to another community and we’re left no different that we were. Maybe this time it will be different in Ohio.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Ohio Statehouse” by Alexander Smith. CC BY-SA 3.0.