It’s hard to believe a politician would use the issue of gun control to distract voters from their own failures at governing.
In Cleveland, the low-information Mayor Frank Jackson wants to pass a new raft of gun control measures to appear as though he’s actually doing something meaningful to stop the surge of out-of-control criminal violence in his city.
Yes, it’s purely symbolism over substance.
Why is that, you ask?
It’s just for show and we’ll tell you why: Ohio has pre-emption, blocking local governments from enacting most gun control.
Jackson’s favorite gun rights group, a group called the Buckeye Firearms Association (Ohio’s version of Guns Save Life) has taken the mayor all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court and won. Twice.
Mayor Jackson doesn’t care.
He wants gun control to combat the surge in criminal violence in his city with more (illegal) city gun control ordinances.
As if a criminal is going to say, “Boy, I can’t go rob that gas station because the city has an law against possession of this here handgun.”
Buckeye Firearms is all over this like white on rice.
On Tuesday, June 17, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson held a press conference and announced his plans to enact several “new” gun control measures in his city.
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Jackson wants to place a limit on gun buys to one every 90 days and create a gun registry that would require convicted gun offenders to register with police once a year for four years. He wants to restrict gun owners from leaving firearms in places accessible to minors and require gun owners to report to police when their guns are stolen.
The city’s law department is currently drafting new ordinances around these and other proposals, which are expected to be ready in mid July.
Immediately after the mayor introduced his proposals, Buckeye Firearms Association began receiving calls from the media for our response. BFA President Jim Irvine and Legal Chair Ken Hanson let reporters know in no uncertain terms – if the city passes new gun control in violation of state law, we will sue. And we will win, just as we won our last suit against the city, filed in 2009 after city officials had unlawfully continued to enforce 19 separate gun control ordinances in violation of state law. The state Supreme Court has ruled in our favor on this matter – twice.
When Mayor Jackson took office in January of 2006, the City of Cleveland was enforcing a so-called “assault” weapons ban. With passage of HB 347 late that same year, the ban was rendered unenforceable. Jackson immediately set about to complain that he could no longer prosecute people for crimes committed with these guns, and that the loss of that tool had directly resulted in Cleveland’s increasing violent crime problem. The mayor even staged press conferences behind a table of scary-looking guns, implying that they had been confiscated through the now-defunct ban.
We challenged the media to investigate whether or not Jackson’s claims were true. Getting the answer would be easy for a responsible journalist to do – if the city was having troubles prosecuting offenses in the absence of the ban, that would show through a significant drop in convictions related to those offenses. No one at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, or any other news organization, for that matter, took it upon themselves to investigate. So we did.
Public records requests by Buckeye Firearms Association revealed that in all of 2006, Jackson’s first year in office, there was not one single person charged with a violation of Cleveland’s assault weapons ban. That’s right, not even one.
In 2007 (before HB347 took effect), there was one person prosecuted for a violation of Cleveland’s bans. The case never made it to trial because the Grand Jury returned a “no bill”, meaning they didn’t even find the enough evidence of a crime for the case to move forward to a trial.
In the mayor’s entire tenure, not only had the City of Cleveland not convicted a single person under their so-called assault weapons ban; they never even took one case to trial!