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Ohio State Sen. Cecil Thomas introduces legislation to 'curb gun violence'

Posted at 7:19 AM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 12:37:49-04

CINCINNATI -- Democratic state Sen. Cecil Thomas has now outlined his plans for comprehensive gun control legislation, including raising the minimum age to purchase a gun and requiring background checks.

"This is a different time," Thomas said Monday morning at Over-the-Rhine's Washington Park. "This time, students everywhere are saying, 'Not one more! Enough is enough.' " 

In the wake of this past weekend's March for our Lives rallies across the country, Thomas is also calling for change. He's introducing a bill in Ohio that would enact universal background checks, raise the age to buy a gun to 21 years old and close loopholes for buying weapons at gun shows. 

The bill does not infringe on Second Amendment rights, Thomas assured those gathered. The bill is already in the system, and the next step is for hearings at the state Capitol.

"(What) we're introducing is to create a more regulated process that can secure guns in the hands of lawful Ohioans and make it more difficult for guns to fall into hands of those who mean to do harm," Thomas said. 

Hundreds of March for our Lives rallies, including one in Cincinnati, took place Saturday, nearly a month and a half since 17 people were gunned down at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Cincinnati resident Ethel Guttenberg lost her granddaughter Jamie in the tragedy and said she's in favor of the bill.

"What we do need is to go forward and fight for things so that nobody, nobody ever joins this club that I belong to now," Guttenberg said.

Rasleen Krupp, founder of Young Feminists Coalition, helped organize Saturday's march in Cincinnati. 

“We are supporting the Parkland students in any way we can, even in this freezing cold and snowy weather, and we will not stop until we have comprehensive gun legislation,” Krupp said. 

On Oct. 21, 2017, Thomas  introduced a bill that would ban the manufacture, sale and possession of "bump stock" devices like those used by the gunman in the Oct. 1 Las Vegas mass shooting.

Gov. John Kasich unveiled proposed policies intended "to help protect Ohioans from gun violence" earlier this month.