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Dayton City Commissioners urge Gov. DeWine to enact stronger gun regulations at press conference

Dayton City Commissioners during a press conference at City Hall
Alejandro Figueroa
Dayton City Commissioners during a press conference at City Hall

The Dayton City Commissioners sent a letter to Governor Mike DeWine calling for stronger gun regulations Wednesday evening. The commissioners said at a press conference announcing the letter that DeWine hasn't acted to reduce mass shootings since the 2019 Oregon District shooting.

Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph said at the conference that local politicians like him are unable to regulate guns because of limits to local rule implemented by state-level politicians.

"We feel helpless, because the power that we have to serve our residents has been taken away from us systematically over the years and that's not right,” Joseph said. “And in this case, we have a governor who said he would help us, said publicly that he would help us, said privately that he would help us, and he has not. He's made it worse. We feel it's very important for people to know that."

Commissioners also called on DeWine to veto House Bill 99, which passed the Ohio senate today. HB 99 seeks to set training requirements for districts that want to allow teachers, staff and volunteers to be armed in schools.

Opponents of the bill, which includes the Ohio Education Association, note concerns about misplaced weapons and inadequate training requirements.

In a statement, DeWine told WYSO:

"Last week I called on the General Assembly to pass a bill that would allow local school districts, if they so chose, to designate armed staff for school security and safety. My office worked with the General Assembly to remove hundreds of hours of curriculum irrelevant to school safety and to ensure training requirements were specific to a school environment and contained significant scenario-based training. House Bill 99 accomplishes these goals, and I thank the General Assembly for passing this bill to protect Ohio children and teachers. I look forward to signing this important legislation."

Chris Welter is a reporter and corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.