Dayton mass shooting victims remembered, activists renew calls for gun reform


On August 4, nine people's lives will be remembered

FILE – In this Aug. 7, 2019, file photo, pedestrians pass a makeshift memorial for the slain and injured victims of a mass shooting that occurred in the Oregon District in Dayton, Ohio. The Ohio Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in a case filed by news media groups seeking school records of gunman Connor Betts, who gunned down nine people in Dayton before being killed by police. Media groups including The Associated Press argue the records could provide information on whether authorities properly handled warning signs. The Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools district says Betts’ records are protected by student privacy laws. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

COLUMBUS (WCMH)–On August 4, nine people’s lives will be remembered. They all were killed last year in a mass shooting in Dayton. The mass shooting kicked off calls for gun reform across the state, but one year later, many say little has been accomplished.

Today Mayor Nan Whaley, Moms Demand Action, and Shela Blanchard whose niece was killed in the Dayton shooting, all called for more to be done by both federal and local lawmakers.

“In the weeks and months that followed, it felt like this time maybe we might be able to do something about gun violence,” said Mayor Whaley. “Yet as we approach the one year anniversary, very little has changed.”

After the shooting, Governor Mike DeWine unveiled a legislative package for change, and since then Senate Bill 221 has sat in committee with little to no movement. At the same time, Kristine Woodworth with Ohio Chapter of Moms Demand Action explained they have been put on the defense instead of the offense.

“We’ve been standing against bills like stand your ground which is currently being fast-tracked through the Ohio legislature, allowing guns in daycares and college campuses,” said Woodworth.

Buckeye Firearms Association members believe more laws are not what Ohio needs; instead, they need more enforcement. The group is applauding lawmakers for not bending to “pressure.”

“We really are reluctant to see the legislator pass gun laws just for the sake of being able to say they did something and ultimately infringe on the rights of Ohio gun owners,” said Rob Sexton, Legislative Affairs Director, Buckeye Firearms Association.

The groups who expressed that they are disappointed by the lack of action, are now warning lawmakers they will take this fight to the ballot box.

“If we can’t change our gun laws, we have to change our representatives and hold them accountable,” said Woodworth.

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