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Gov. Mike DeWine: Ohio legislature needs to pass gun control reforms

According to the governor, 40 people were shot across Ohio last week. 21 people were killed.
Credit: The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In addition to providing updates on the state's efforts to battle COVID-19, Gov. Mike DeWine has used his press briefings to shine a light on the gun violence happening across the state. 

On Tuesday, DeWine called again for the Ohio General Assembly to pass measures that he believes will help stop the rash of gun-related deaths across the state.

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According to DeWine, in a six day period between September 1 and Labor Day, there were 40 people shot in the state of Ohio. 21 of them died. That number includes Cleveland police detective James Skernivitz and his informant Scott Dingess, who were fatally shot on Thursday night as they sat in Skernivitz's unmarked police car in the area of West 65th Street and Storer Avenue. Three teens have been charged in the shooting. 

"Detective Skernivitz spent more than two decades in law enforcement, protecting the citizens of Ohio. In fact, he was sworn in the day before his death to work as part of a federal initiative to fight violence in Cleveland. He leaves behind a wife and three children," DeWine said on Tuesday. 

In response to the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, DeWine introduced his 'STRONG Ohio' proposals, which would increase and improve background checks and ensure people don't have firearms if a court has deemed them to be a danger. The legislation also would increase penalties for anyone who provides a gun to someone who is legally prohibited from having one, and require that certain types of protection orders and arrest warrants be reflected in state and federal law enforcement databases to ensure more accurate background checks.

State lawmakers have yet to move on the 'STRONG Ohio' proposals.

"I'm going to keep saying it. We have to, in Ohio, get tougher on repeat violent offenders," DeWine stated on Tuesday. "We have to get tougher on those who are convicted felons who have absolutely no business having a gun. We need to do this. We have pending in the state legislature a bill that would do that and I would urge my friends in the general assembly to take that bill up."