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CDF-OH Gun Violence Protection

Protect Children from Gun Violence– Gun Safety Reform for Ohio

Gun violence claims the lives of far too many Ohio children, ripping apart many Ohio families and leaving a trail of fear, trauma, and loss in our communities. Whether the action is a mass shooting, street violence, suicide, or accidental child death, the devastating loss of life and potential in our communities is unacceptable.

The Problem

1,071 Children Lost to Gun Violence. In the last decade 1,071 children age 19 and below lost their lives to gun violence – that’s nearly 66,000 years of life lost by our state’s children alone. 

A Child’s Life is Lost to Gun Violence Every 2 Hours and 34 Minutes. Gun violence claims the life of a child in our nation every 2 hours and 34 minutes. 

Our Children Deserve Safety and Security. In the national 2018 YouGov survey, children report greater fear over school shootings than fitting in facing peer pressure.

It’s time to take action to protect Ohio’s children and families.

The Solution

  1. Move Forward Governor DeWine’s Gun Safety Proposals. Governor DeWine’s 17-point gun violence prevention plan provides a strong starting point for making Ohio children safer. The DeWine plan includes many important provisions with the following components  overlapping with the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio’s ”Keeping Children Safe From Gun Violence” Policy Priorities:
    • Universal Background Checks: Require background checks for all firearms sales in the state of Ohio (the proposal includes limited exceptions).
    • Safety Protection Orders: Prohibit firearm access for high-risk individuals and connect them with appropriate treatment.
  2. Enact Child Access Prevention (CAP) Laws. 
    • 1 in 5 Homes with Children and Guns have at Least One Gun Unlocked and Loaded. 
    • Household Guns Are Used in Most Accidental Child Shootings, Youth Suicides, and School Shootings by a Shooter Under 18. Guns used in 70% to 90% of all accidental child shootings and suicides and school shootings where the shooter is under age 18 are acquired in the child’s home or the home of a relative or friend. 
    • CAP Laws Can Reduce Child Accidental Deaths, Injuries, and Suicides by 54%. Child access prevention laws require that guns be stored safely so children cannot access them unsupervised.
  3. Ban Military-Style Weapons. Military-style weapons have no place in Ohio civilian life. We must limit access to assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines, bump stocks, and other devices that allow shooters to rapidly fire large amounts of ammunition.

Summary of Governor DeWine’s Proposal to Reduce Gun Violence, Increase Mental Health Prevention, Treatment

Background Checks. Require background checks for all firearms sales in the state of Ohio with certain limited, reasonable exceptions, including gifts between family members.

Safety Protection Orders. Allow courts to issue the removal of firearms from potentially dangerous individuals and get them mental health treatment while maintaining due process.

Increased Access to Outpatient Psychiatric Care. A community-based misdemeanor competency restoration process to allow those needing to regain competency to stand trial to do so in outpatient settings.

Early Intervention. 2019-2020 biennium operating budget investment of $675 million for wrap-around services for schools to design individualized programs, working with local mental health providers or social service organizations, to address the social and emotional challenges our students face. 

Access to Behavioral Health Services. $15 million in telehealth mental health services to students through the Ohio Department of Medicaid.

Risk Factor and Resource Identification.  Education for communities and parents to identify warning signs of child mental illness through Ohio MHAS. 

School Tip Line. Expansion of the state’s school safety tip line allowing anonymous texts and calls to 844-723-3764 with tips about potential school violence.

Social Media Monitoring.  The Hub at the Ohio Department of Public Safety will expand to monitor and track potential threats on social media and share information with local school and local law enforcement.

Community Safety. The operating budget provides nearly $9 million to help harden soft targets like non-profits and religious organizations.

School Safety and Intervention Programs. Implementing Sandy Hook Promise’s “Know the Signs” safety program in schools across the state. 

Penalty Increases. The proposal also includes penalty increases for illegal firearm possession, weapon possession under disability, possession of a firearm while committing a felony, brandishing a firearm, straw firearm purchases, possession of an illegal obtained firearm, and improperly providing a firearm to a minor.

Call to Action

Contact legislative leaders in the Ohio House and Senate and let them know that common-sense gun reform is needed in Ohio to protect children across Ohio. Find out who your Representative and Senators are: and share with them your thoughts on this issue and action they should take.

“We are afraid because there are too many threats at schools. I want my school to be safe and have art because kids like art.” 

– 8 year old girl, Wisconsin