Activism Activsts with Moms Demand Action pose for a group shot in front of the Statehouse

Published on March 21st, 2018 | by Terra Goodnight

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Activists Flood Statehouse For Common Sense Gun Reform

Hundreds of activists descended on the Ohio Statehouse for the second time in two weeks Wednesday to talk about common sense solutions to the epidemic of gun violence. This time it was Moms Demand Action organizing the visits to lawmakers offices. For many participants it was the first time they’d ever come to the Statehouse or met with their elected representatives.

What They Want

Moms Demand organizers spoke to the need for four priority fixes to Ohio’s (weak) gun laws. Those are:

  • Rules for the safe storage of guns to reduce the risk of access by children
  • Universal background checks
  • Closing the loophole to stop those with Domestic Violence convictions from possessing firearms
  • Enforceable laws to address gun trafficking and fraudulent purchases to keep illegal guns off the streets

They also identified one proposal, currently advancing in the legislature, to enact Stand Your Ground and Permitless Carrying of concealed weapons laws. Stopping those measures, HB228 and SB180, is at the top of advocates list.

activists pre-game in a Columbus church before converging on the Statehouse

photo credit: Twitter user @notoriousmeg40

After some basic training on lobbying lawmakers and a group photo on the Statehouse steps, many participants joined lawmakers at a press confeence to announce the introduction of new “red flag” legislation to allow family members to ask a judge for a temporary order for a loved one to relinquish firearms when they believe he or she may be a danger to themself or others.

Activists and lawmakers stand together for Red Flag laws to curb gun violence

Activists and lawmakers stand together for Red Flag laws to curb gun violence (photo credit: @OhioSenateDems on Twitter)

Participants later fanned out across Capitol Square to meet with Senators and Representatives to talk with them about what they learned.

Ready to meet with State Representatives! (Photo Credit: @Russo4Ohio on Twitter)

Ready to meet with State Representatives!

Action Items:

  • Get involved with Moms Demand Ohio.
  • Sign up for updates from your favorite statewide advocacy organization and watch for Lobby Day opportunities when they are advertised. It’s a very rewarding and easy way to get your start as a Statehouse advocate.

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About the Author

Terra Goodnight does Policy Research and Digital Organizing for Innovation Ohio, a progressive-leaning research and advocacy nonprofit in Columbus. She also runs a few Twitter accounts and had earlier careers in state and local government and private sector technology consulting.



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