Mayor Jackson submits legislation to City Council to fight gun violence in Cleveland

Proposed laws rewrite City’s gun code, create new gun offender registry

Today, Mayor Frank G. Jackson submitted to Cleveland City Council a complete rewrite of the City of Cleveland’s guns laws and proposed a new gun offender registry to help prevent gun violence, in order to save lives and make the city’s neighborhoods safer.

Mayor Jackson addresses City Council

Mayor Jackson addresses City Council

“We’ve taken thousands of guns off the streets of Cleveland over the last eight and a half years.  We work in partnership with law enforcement on all levels to take violent offenders off the street. And, we’ve added police officers to our gang unit to help address the problem,” said Mayor Jackson. “This legislation, if passed, will give us another way to attack the problem of gun violence in Cleveland and make Cleveland a safer place.”

The Jackson Administration has discussed this proposed legislation with City Council President Kevin Kelley and Chairman of the Public Safety Committee Matt Zone and looks forward to participating in the public hearings that will be held regarding the legislation.

“Gun violence has taken far too many lives in our community. The City of Cleveland must act aggressively to address this issue,” said City Council President Kevin Kelley. “I look forward to further discussion of the ordinances through the committee process where Councilman Zone has assured a thorough hearing process.”

“The Public Safety Committee welcomes this legislation and the conversations that it will prompt to help address this high priority issue in our city,” said Councilman Matt Zone, Chair of the Public Safety Committee. “I am confident that my colleagues in Council and on the Safety Committee will have thoughtful and productive input as we move forward with the legislative process.”

The legislation submitted today would repeal the City of Cleveland’s existing codified ordinances in Chapter 627 Weapons and Explosives and would replace it with new laws addressing specific violence prevention needs in the City of Cleveland and laws that would mirror existing state gun laws, with appropriate municipal level offenses and penalties (see attached summary).

“If these ordinances are enacted, our city prosecutors will have more options to charge individuals suspected of gun-related crimes in the City of Cleveland,” said Law Director Barbara Langhenry. “Particularly when the criminal act doesn’t meet the standards of a state offense but still must be addressed.”

In addition, the current Chapter 628 (assault weapons ban) would be repealed and replaced with legislation to create a gun offenders registry (see attached summary).

“The gun offender registry would be a new tool that would help law enforcement officers understand where individuals convicted of a gun offense are living in the City of Cleveland,” said Public Safety Director Michael McGrath. “Add this information to our crime data analysis and partnerships like VGRIP, and we will have a greater ability to address gun violence.”

Click here to view the summary of proposed new gun ordinances