As you can imagine, reaction in Ohio to Obama’s big gun speech was a mixed bag. Senior Senator from Ohio Sherrod Brown was obviously supportive:
The president is taking long-overdue action on efforts that improve background checks, ensure more federal coordination, and improve school safety,” Brown said in a statement. “It’s now time for Congress to renew the assault weapons ban, a common-sense effort to prevent the proliferation of deadly, high-powered weapons, and close the gun show loophole that prevents background checks from being conducted to ensure guns are purchased lawfully. 1
The Junior Senator…well…not so much:
It appears the president has chosen to act unilaterally wherever he can and focus on new, unproven gun bans which would undermine the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. 2
It’s worth noting that Portman’s quote is a bit misinformed as there is no executive action to ban guns. As we covered earlier, POTUS doesn’t have the ability to unilaterally ban anything. That has to go through Congress. This is something the Junior Senator should know. Additionally, most legal commentary seems to indicate a very narrow ban on assault weapons would not undermine the Second Amendment and would also be upheld by any Supreme Court review.
Steve Chabot (OH-1):
I have serious concerns regarding many of the president’s gun control proposals. 1
Brad Wenstrup (OH-2): No comment. Too busy explaining opposition to Hurricane Sandy relief.
Joyce Beatty (OH-3):
Beatty said she backs banning assault weapons. “I don’t think that the average person needs a gun that shoots 30 bullets before 30 seconds is up.” 3
Jim Jordan (OH-4) :
Jordan said that “in finding ways to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill, we must protect the freedoms guaranteed” by the Constitution. 3
Bob Latta (OH-5): No comment
Bill Johnson (OH-6) :
I, along with every other American, agree that what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a human tragedy,” said Congressman Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, a Marietta resident, in a statement emailed to The Marietta Times. “I support efforts that will improve the identification, diagnosis and treatment of individuals who face serious mental health challenges. I will not support any legislation or executive action that seek to limit the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. 5
Bob Gibbs (OH-7) :
Gibbs said he agrees with Obama that “we must identify ways to ensure that our children are safe and protected from those who wish to do them harm,” but he said he doubts that a new gun ban would achieve that goal. 3
John Boehner (OH-8) :
House committees of jurisdiction will review these recommendations and if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that. 1
Marcy Kaptur (OH-9): No comment.
Michael Turner (OH-10):
Thomas Crosson, a spokesman for Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, said “our first opportunity to make an assessment will come when the bill arrives on the House floor for a vote.” 3
Marcia Fudge (OH-11):
“It is clear the culture of violence is an American epidemic. It is time for us to face the music. We are complicit in the violence that takes place in our nation if we fail to strengthen our gun laws; fail to invest more resources in our mental health services; and fail to address the issue of bullying. We must take meaningful and immediate action to eradicate the culture of violence in our country,” said Congresswoman Fudge.
“No single measure can solve the complex issue of gun violence. We must undertake a series of sensible and long overdue steps to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of dangerous people. The President, Members of Congress, parents, gun owners, the entertainment industry and every American citizen has a role to play in doing all we can to keep our children and families safe. We must act now.” (fudge.house.gov)
Pat Tiberi (OH-12):
Breann Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, said he is reviewing the president’s proposals. But Gonzalez said Tiberi “believes the appropriate place for the legislative process to begin is in the Senate.’’ 3
“The tragedy in Newtown requires a comprehensive examination of the facts,” Tiberi said in the statement. “It’s time that we as a society take a broad look at the level of violence we find acceptable in our everyday lives. That examination combined with an evaluation of the effectiveness of our mental health system to preempt acts like these, rather than react to them, is a step in the right direction.” 4
Tim Ryan (OH-13):
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, who has had a strong rating from the NRA, said he was pleased to see Obama “present a number of reasonable proposals for reform of our nation’s gun laws.”
Referring to the Supreme Court’s repeated affirmation of the right to bear arms, Ryan said: “I believe the best way to protect that right is for Congress to support reasonable laws and regulations which will make it harder for criminals, terrorists, and the mentally ill to obtain guns. There’s no reason this cannot be accomplished while also allowing responsible and law-abiding citizens to obtain guns for recreational use and self-protection.” 3
David Joyce (OH-14):
“It’s time we have a national conversation on public safety focused on the question of how we best protect our children,” he said.
Joyce spent 23 years as Geauga County prosecutor before being elected to a U.S. House seat that includes the upper portion of Trumbull County.
Pointing to that experience as a prosecutor, Joyce said, “I saw first-hand the tragic effects of when certain individuals slip through our mental health system and therefore believe it’s crucial that we address this as both a public safety and mental health issue. That said, we cannot let recent tragedies be an excuse for groups to either sell more guns or infringe on Second Amendment rights.” 6
Steve Stivers (OH-15) :
Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, called Obama’s plans “a little misdirected.’’
Stivers said that “to take away guns from people who don’t use guns to do bad things doesn’t do anything to keep bad things from happening.’’ But at the same time, Stivers said he has “less of a problem with universal background checks.’’ 7
Jim Renacci (OH-16):
Said in a statement that identifying and treating mental health conditions should be the top priority. “I was pleased to hear the president address mental health in his proposal” but “I would need to see the specifics of any legislation the House was considering for passage before I could comment further on what part or parts of it I could support. What I can say is that any restrictions on our Second Amendment rights must be narrowly tailored and meet the strictest standards of scrutiny our judiciary can apply.” 8
1 – Local GOP members oppose Obama gun control plans (cincinnati.com)
2 – What Tri-State lawmakers say about President Obama’s gun control plan (kypost.com)
3 – In a shift, Ohio Republicans don’t rush to denounce plan (dispatch.com)
4 – Ohio Republicans quiet on guns (lancastereaglegazette.com)
5 – Obama’s gun control game plan (mariettatimes.com)
6 – President proposes gun control measures (vindy.com)
7 – Ohio, Dayton-area lawmakers respond to Obama’s call for gun-law changes (DDN)
8 – Stark lawmakers divided on guns (cantonrep.com)
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