Columbus City Council Tightens Gun Control on Gun Owners

The Columbus City Council approved legislation on Monday giving owners of gun magazines with 30 rounds or more until July 1st to move them out of the city, sell them to a licensed arms dealer outside of Columbus, or turn them over to the city Division of Police.

Although new legislation, Monday’s ordinance amends the gun control legislation passed by city council on December 5th, 2022, despite a judge’s order to cease any such action.

The December measure includes a ban on magazines that hold 30 or more rounds by anyone other than a federal or state agent, armed services member, or a member of state or local law enforcement, and mandatory firearm storage in the home. Also, it penalizes the straw sales of firearms when someone buys a gun to sell or gives it to someone prohibited from having one.

City Attorney Zach Klein‘s communication director Pete Shipley told The Ohio Star “Now that the city’s commonsense safety laws have been on the books in Columbus for a few months, we requested the changes after seeing how the ordinances are and could be practically applied and enforced.”

Those who continue to possess their large magazines after July 1 may still turn them in to the police for disposal in accordance with the new law.

The legislation from December 5th, 2022,  states that anyone in possession of a magazine that can store 30 or more rounds would face charges of a misdemeanor and face a minimum term of 180 consecutive days in jail without the possibility of work release, a maximum sentence of one year, and a $1,500 fine.

A Fairfield County court rejected Ohio’s plea for a preliminary injunction to overturn the city’s firearms laws on January 20th. As a result, the gun control law took effect on January 21st.

On February 16th, Ohio think tank The Buckeye Institute filed a lawsuit against the city of Columbus to protect the rights of Ohioans to keep and bear arms.

“Columbus City Council has once again tried to circumvent our clients’ rights, along with the rights of all law-abiding Ohioans, by enacting excessive and improper restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms—threatening jail time for those who don’t comply. These constitutional violations must be declared null and void,” David C. Tryon, director of litigation at The Buckeye Institute and an attorney on the case said.

The Buckeye Institute told The Star that “Buckeye doesn’t have a reaction or comment on last night’s vote by Columbus City Council.”

The Buckeye Firearm Association told The Star that it is reprehensible that Columbus City Council is pursuing law-abiding citizens over those who are committing crimes.

“Columbus City Council has not only passed illegal and unconstitutional gun laws for which they’re being sued, they are now harassing otherwise law-abiding gun owners and threatening them with fines and jail time simply for possessing standard magazines that are included with the firearms they have legally purchased. City Attorney Klein, Mayor Ginther, and Council members know very well they will eventually lose in court and apparently don’t care that they will have infringed their residents’ constitutional rights and cost them potentially hundreds of dollars each when they are forced to dispose of firearm components that have not been used in any crime. Shame on city leaders for playing political games with their residents simply so they can pretend to be “doing something.” It is reprehensible that they are pursuing the law-abiding rather than those actually committing crimes,” Buckeye Firearm Association Executive Director Dean Rieck told The Star.

Ohio Gun Owners leader Chris Dorr told The Star that the Columbus City Council’s actions are unconstitutional, they are violating Ohio’s preemption statute, that The Buckeye Institute is already challenging in court.

“The lawlessness of this city council is on full display, and as to their tyrannical demands, we say, No. Come and take them,” Dorr told The Star.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]



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