Gov. John Kasich said he will sign a new gun bill, even after calls on him to postpone his decision in wake of the Connecticut shooting.
The liberal group Progress Ohio had requested Kasich hold off signing the law. It will, for the first time, allow people to bring guns into the parking garages under the statehouse, and across the street at the Riffe center.
“I’m a Second Amendment supporter and that’s not going to change. There are a range of issues at play here involving mental health, school security and a culture that at times fails to reject the glorification of violence that can desensitize us to the sanctity and majesty of life. Going forward, we need to pay close attention to what the experts conclude from this incident in order to see if there are lessons to be learned and applied here in Ohio," said Kasich.
As a congressman in 1994, Kasich supported the assault weapons ban.
The debate over a ban on assault weapons and other firearms has heightened since last Friday.
Linda Walker from the Buckeyes Firearms Association said Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and they failed to prevent Friday's shooting.
“Criminals don't pay attention to the laws,” said Walker. “If the teacher or principal in Connecticut had been armed, we wouldn't be looking at 28 dead people today”
Walker advocates more guns in public places, like schools, would be a deterrent to violence.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown disagrees and said there should be fewer guns on the streets, not more.
“I don't think the idea of more guns in school houses is a good thing. I think that's a bad thing,” said Brown. “At least we need to ban assault weapons again as we did 15 years ago. There's just not a reason why people need an automatic or semiautomatic to spray bullets like that.”
Brown said besides the assault weapons ban, a gun control bill could include a longer waiting period for gun applicants, a restriction on the number of guns that can be purchased per month, and a mandatory mental health background check.
“I think some of my friends, particularly on the other side of the aisle but in both parties who have gotten a lot of money from the National Rifle Association, need to stand up to them,” added Brown.
But Walker said the debate comes down to citizens’ second amendment rights. She is on the national board of the National Rifle Association, which has not yet made an official statement on the Connecticut shooting.
When asked if there's any room for compromise between gun advocates and opponents, she said, “No.”
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