Ohio Senate Committee Hears Bill to Ban Bump Stocks


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee had a slate full of gun control bills to hear on Tuesday. The first bill to be heard was State Senator Cecil Thomas’ (D-Cincinnati) (pictured above) Senate Bill 62.

Senate Bill 62 is Thomas‘ bill to ban bump stocks. Specifically the bill was written, “…to prohibit certain conduct regarding trigger cranks, bump-fire devices, and other items that accelerate a semi-automatic firearm’s rate of fire but do not convert it into an automatic firearm.”

Senator Thomas addressed two arguments used against his bill. The first was the claim that passing this legislation would be a “slippery slope.”

“Today they’ll take our bump stocks; tomorrow they’ll take our guns,” Thomas claimed was the “slippery slope” argument. “When we pass gun control measures in Ohio, citizens will still have the right to own them.” He added, “This legislation is not the single greatest way to stop mass shootings.”

The second argument he stated opponents would raise was that criminals will not obey these laws. He asked the committee why, if that’s the case, they would create any laws at all if criminals will not obey them?

Senator Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction) pointed out that President Trump had already banned bump stocks and the Justice Department has banned any items that would accelerate firing. Senator Thomas responded that he would like to line Ohio law up with federal.

Chairman Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township) noted that back in March when the bill was first heard, he had asked the Senator about rubber bands being used in a similar way to increase the rate of fire. “Are you trying to ban an item, or an action?”

Thomas’ response was, “[I am] banning a product that is specifically designed to modify a weapon. If they want to take that rubber band to modify a weapon, that’s illegal.”

Senator Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) asked, “Will this single solution end gun violence?”

Thomas acknowledged that his bill would not.

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.






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