CINCINNATI — Cincinnati will join other Ohio cities in a lawsuit over a new state law that preempts local gun regulations.
Mayor John Cranley announced the city's intention to join Columbus and other communities in the lawsuit over House Bill 228, which went into effect March 28. Cranley called the law a "violation" of the city's home rule authority.
"They are prohibiting the people of Cincinnati to pass laws to protect our citizens," he said. "They are prohibiting it."
Officials said H.B. 228 threatens municipalities with severe financial penalties if they enact or enforce a local firearms ordinance that would be preempted by state law.
Cranley said he's also opposing House Bill 178, which would eliminate existing concealed carry license and training requirements.
The announcement came after a string of recent shootings in Cincinnati, including one Wednesday that killed a 19-year-old.
"We have an epidemic of gun violence in this city, and in this country," Cranley said.
There have been 124 shootings in Cincinnati this year, including 16 that were fatal. But data show that gun violence overall has decreased in Cincinnati every year since 2015.
Pastor Peterson Mingo, a local anti-violence advocate, said the bill would lead to more gun crime.
"We need to support more of our police officers, letting them know who has a gun," he said.
A reporter reached out to the National Rifle Association for comment on the bills, but didn't immediately hear back.