How Does Ohio’s Concealed Carry Gun Law Affect Columbus?

Homicides have fallen in the city of Columbus from a record 205 set in 2022.

That’s a step in the right direction, but it’s no comfort to those living in fear in gun violence-plagued neighborhoods, or to the families and friends left to mourn the nearly 130 people killed so far in 2022 , all but a handful by gunfire.

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Such heartbreaking violence would be difficult to combat in any city or state.

Zach Klein has served as Columbus City's attorney since 2018, leading efforts to defend voting rights at the state and national levels.

Columbus is made even more difficult by laws approved by the Ohio state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine that make it easier to own, buy, or otherwise acquire firearms.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein told our editor that the city’s efforts to address gun violence are being hampered by the Republican-led state legislature.

The most recent example is a back-and-forth between his office and that of Attorney General Dave Yost over gun restrictions the city wants to introduce and a state law barring municipal gun ordinances — Ohio Revised Code Section 9.68, known as the Ohio Revised Code Section 9.68 “Right to bear arms – challenge the law.”

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Klein said cities are facing the consequences of the extreme decision the state made, primarily on behalf of the Second Amendment rights.

09/19/2022;  Columbus, OH, USA;  Theory Causey, 4, left, and her sister, Jacksyn Causey, 7, wear a "We are Linden" Signs as Linden Community & Columbus Ohio Stop The Violence go to a residential neighborhood behind the Northern Lights mall shouting messages about stopping gun violence and bringing the Linden community together.  The group distributed information packs from local organizations and shouted messages about stopping gun violence and bringing the Linden community together.  Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

The impact of Ohio’s new laws relaxing gun restrictions has not yet been measured, but Klein cited information he received from police officers working in Columbus as evidence.

“You just see so many guns,” he said. “Everyone has a gun.”

Klein pointed to a March study by Washington think tank Third Way showing that so-called red states controlled by Republican-elected officials, like Ohio, have higher homicide rates.