Mayor Jackson and members of his administration addressed the Safety Committee of Cleveland City Council on September 3, 2014 to discuss Ordinance No. 931-14, a complete rewrite of the city’s gun code and the implementation of a new gun offender registry; the sole purpose of which, would be to prevent gun violence in Cleveland, by keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons and minors, and holding people responsible if they help convicted felons and minors obtain weapons.
“At one time, we had gun laws that we could enforce, including an assault weapons ban, prohibiting possession of a firearm by a minor and holding adults accountable for allowing children access to guns,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “In 2007, the state legislature passed a concealed carry bill that took away our ability to enforce local gun laws and in 2009, the Supreme Court upheld the state’s new laws rendering Cleveland’s gun laws were invalid. Despite this, we still have a duty and responsibility to reduce gun violence and have safe neighborhoods throughout Cleveland.”
The submitted legislation 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.
“We’ve taken thousands of guns off the streets of Cleveland over the last eight and a half years,” said Mayor Jackson. ” We work in partnership with law enforcement, at all levels, to take violent offenders off the street and, we’ve added police officers to our gang unit to help address the problem. This legislation is the next step – it will give our officers and our city prosecutors additional tools to help fight gun violence.”
In addition, the current Chapter 628 (assault weapons ban) would be repealed and replaced with legislation to create a gun offenders registry.
“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.”
The Public Safety Committee will address the proposed legislation again on September 24th.