DARKE COUNTY — Ohio’s two senators have spoken out about the tragic deaths of 10 people at the hands of a 21-year-old man in Boulder, Colo., as well as efforts by Democratic legislators to restrict gun ownership and purchases.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) posted on his Facebook page Tuesday, saying his “heart grieves for the Boulder community.”
“Too many families are losing a loved one they’ll never get back because we’ve normalized mass shootings,” said Brown.
Brown brought up the mass shooting which occurred in Dayton, Ohio, in 2019, and the deaths of 8 people in Atlanta, Ga. on March 16 of this year.
“Mass shootings have scarred far too many communities across the country,” said Brown. “We can not accept this as the status quo. We need commonsense gun safety laws.
Democrats in the House have sent two bills to the Senate — HR 8, which would expand background checks on gun purchasers, and HR 1446, which would lengthen the time for background check reviews from three to 10 days.
In the Senate, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) have introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021, which would restrict the sale and transfer of certain rifles, as well as magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. Unlike the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which ended at 10 years, the 2021 bill provides no end date.
On Tuesday, Pres. Joe Biden encouraged Congress to pass the measures.
“We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again. I got that done when I was a senator. It passed. It was the law for the longest time. And it brought down these mass killings. We should do it again,” he said.
All the proposals face a tough hill to climb in the evenly divided Senate, with 10 Republican votes needed to pass.
Prior to the Colorado shooting, Sen. Rob Portman (R) Spokesperson Emmalee Cioffi told the Daily Advocate that Portman is more focused on improving background checks than bans.
“Rob is concerned the legislation recently passed by the House is overly broad and will infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans,” said Cioffi. “He believes that Congress should focus on doing more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, which is why he voted for the Fix NICS Act in 2018, which strengthened the data that goes into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”
Cioffi added the Fix NICS Act accomplished its goal.
“Between April 2018 and August 2019: There was an increase of over six million records in the three national databases searched with every NICS check — a 6.2-percent increase. In addition, there was a 15-percent increase in records in one of those databases, the NICS Indices,” she said.