Buoyed by students' efforts for local and statewide firearms reforms, Upper Arlington City Council will consider restricting local gun sales, as well as an appeal to state legislators to change gun laws.
City Council members on March 26 pledged support to the Upper Arlington High School students who seek changes to firearms laws at the city and state levels.
"There are many things you can have addressed under the gun law," City Attorney Jeanine Hummer said in response to council inquiries. "I'll give you different items, and you can tell me what you like and don't like as a council."
Now Hummer is suggesting options for following up on the promise, including a potential ban on gun sales in Upper Arlington and approval of a resolution that would ask the Ohio General Assembly and Gov. John Kasich to restrict firearms on public property.
Hummer said council could seek to change local laws within home-rule authority that gives municipalities some latitude to govern themselves, or it could appeal -- possibly with a consortium of like-minded communities -- to state leaders to make changes.
"I recommend that council think about code changes and communicate with (council President Kip Greenhill) concerning those items you would recommend," Hummer said in an April 2 staff report to council. "Any resolution you would bring forward and want other jurisdictions to adopt would need to have common themes.
"For instance, I would recommend including the following items listed: bringing Ohio laws in line with tougher federal standards, closing loopholes currently found in Ohio's gun laws, urging state legislators to reform gun laws and include this as a public-health concern."
Hummer's report also stated council should direct City Manager Ted Staton to push for the Central Ohio Mayor and Managers Association to approve a similar resolution.
Council is expected to consider the recommendations in the coming weeks.
Several members indicated at the March 26 meeting that they intend move toward some form of action.
"We as a council will stand with you," Councilwoman Sue Ralph told students who are in favor of tigher gun laws. "We're proud of what you're doing."
At the meeting, UAHS junior Dylan Carlson Sirvent, a member of a student-oriented group called UA Walkout, said he's seeking a council resolution of support asking state legislators to enact some restrictions, including a ban on what he calls "assault weapons."
"I'm asking for City Council to support a resoultion advocating for the ... General Assembly of Ohio to support the ban of assault weapons that have very high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets, as well as creating a statewide registry, and also trying to see (about) restricting open-carry laws.
"I hope that through the resolution, we can show that Upper Arlington supports the students, supports our message and, as well, to pressure the General Assembly that cities and students want change. We want to feel safer."
Council Vice President Brendan King said he would support a resolution to the state legislature once city leaders hone in on reforms they intend to pursue.
Council member Carolyn Casper said she has worked with UA Walkout to secure transportation to gun-reform rallies like the March For Our Lives rally in downtown Columbus on March 24. In doing so, she and Greenhill called on the students to promote voter registration and participation among young people.
Greenhill said discussion about reforms should not divide people among political-party affiliations.
"I hope this doesn't become a political issue," he said. "I'd like to talk about this as a public-health issue."