Guns

As Ohio Sen. Rob Portman traveled through the state during this week's congressional recess, he got plenty of heat for his recent vote against a bipartisan bill that would have expanded background checks to more gun sales. 

Groups in favor of the legislation protested some of his appearances and an Ohio woman whose son was killed in last year's mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater tried to meet with Portman to express her frustration with his vote.

This week, Connecticut lawmakers passed one of the toughest gun laws in the nation, four months after the shootings in Newtown. It includes an assault weapons ban, universal background checks and limits to the size of magazines. Things are moving much slower at the federal level. Jo Ingles with the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse news bureau joins Emily McCord to discuss what Ohio is and isn't doing on gun laws in the state.

An Ohio-based gun rights group says two dozen Ohio educators have been trained in firearms use in a pilot program developed after the slayings of children and staff members at a Connecticut school.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that participants in the three-day course used model guns with plastic pellets while learning tactical maneuvers for reacting to school shooters. The Armed Teacher Training Program conducted by the Tactical Defense Institute in southern Ohio's West Union included simulated gunman scenarios based on real-life situations.

Authorities in Dayton are more concerned about large-capacity magazines than assault weapons that are the subject of debate in Washington.

Last year there were 27 homicides in Dayton, with handguns the preferred weapon and just one case involving an assault rifle. Most of the handguns had large-capacity magazines.

The sheriff in Montgomery County says it has investigated more homicides involving frying pans in the past three years than assault weapons.

The state has kicked off the first of five days of regional training meant to teach Ohio educators to respond to school shooting situations.

More than 200 people registered to participate in Thursday's training in Columbus, where the instructor told participants that planning and practicing responses for an intruder situation will save lives in case of a real incident.

PoliticsOhio: Gun Laws At Issue At State Level

Dec 21, 2012

After the massacre at a school in Connecticut, there’s been a lot of focus on gun control. This week, Ohio has expanded some limits on guns in the state. Bill Cohen joins Emily McCord to discuss the state of Ohio's gun laws and the debate surrounding it.

Portman May Be Open to Assault-Weapons Ban

Dec 21, 2012

Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman says today he could be open to new gun restrictions. The includes a ban on assault weapons that he voted against when he was new to Congress in 1994.

In a conference call with reporters, Portman stood by his vote as a freshman congressman 18 years ago against a ban on assault-style weapons.

“I don’t regret my vote because I made it based on the facts at hand, which was that this would not have an impact on crime and that specifically these tended not to be the weapons that were being used,” says Portman.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says he wants to give teachers the tools they need to prevent or deal with school shootings.

"The truth is that while we train first responders, the real first responders in these tragedies are teachers.  They are the ones who are there," says DeWine. "They are the ones who make the life and death decisions.  They are the ones who are going to do what they can do to save lives.  By the time the first responders get there, we may have a number of children killed."

Gov. John Kasich says he'll sign a new law allowing guns into the Ohio Statehouse parking garage - despite calls that he veto the bill in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Republican governor is expected to sign the legislation this week. It will allow guns for the first time in the parking garages underneath the Statehouse in Columbus.

Guns would have to be kept in cars, and would not be allowed into the Statehouse.

Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland says it's time to bring gun rights advocates, the entertainment industry and politicians together to reduce violence after the massacre of 26 people at a Connecticut school last week.

Strickland is a Democrat and his career was built with help from the National Rifle Association. He spoke yesterday after participating in the Ohio Electoral College that delivered Ohio's 18 electoral votes for President Barack Obama.

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