It has been just more than a month since dozens of students died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama unveiled a package of gun control proposals aimed at reducing gun violence and improving safety at the nation’s schools.
As in Washington, leaders in central Ohio have mixed reactions about Obama’s proposals, which include a ban on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 used in Newtown and Aurora, Colo.
Obama also wants to limit ammunition magazines to a maximum of 10 rounds and toughen penalties on gun traffickers.
Columbus Division of Police Chief Kim Jacobs said that she believes the nation is ready for “common sense solutions” to gun violence problems.
“Everybody has tremendous heartbreak at what happened just recently in Newtown and has been happening on a regular basis, unfortunately,” Jacobs said. “We also have murders going on. Of our 90 murders that happened last year, 75 were committed by firearm.”
Jacobs said that of the 2,000 guns confiscated or turned in to Columbus police last year, approximately 120 were assault-style weapons.
“Those rifles will do an awful lot of damage,” Jacobs said. “That bullet can travel more than a mile. When you think about the density in the City of Columbus and thinking about how many walls that could pass through, how many people that could pass through; it’s pretty scary.”
Susan Owen with the Ohio Parent Teacher Association said that her group supports most of the President’s plan.
“We want gun-free schools,” Owen said. “That’s the bottom line. We really want gun-free schools. We want a safe learning environment.”
Ken Hanson with the Buckeye Firearms Association said that he is skeptical about Obama’s plan. He called the President’s actions more symbolic than substantive.
“We have tried this same thing over and over for 25 years,” Hanson said. “It has not impacted safety. I don’t see how we should expect anything different this time.”
The most vocal support for Obama’s plan came from Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who called the plan “long overdue.”
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