Grandview Heights City Council's safety committee plans to present the full council with a resolution that will voice the city's concern about the issue of gun safety.
"Since last year, we've been discussing what the city could and should do in regards to gun safety and gun violence in light of all the tragic events that have been occurring in our nation," said Councilman Steve Reynolds, who leads the safety committee.
Chris Smith and Melanie Houston also are members of the committee.
"I haven't done a scientific study of this, but I would imagine I'm probably the most pro-gun-rights person on council," Smith said. "I don't own any guns, but it's a philosophical thing for me that citizens have a right to own guns.
"But there are obviously some common-sense gun-safety measures that should be enacted," Smith said, adding the resolution will be a chance for council to "state our position as the representatives of our community."
"We want to see what we can do to help encourage legislators at the state and national level to address the issue of gun violence while still respecting the constitutional rights of people to own weapons," Reynolds said.
Council members began informally discussing what action it might take regarding the gun issue a year ago in the aftermath of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Council President Greta Kearns said.
Such events are becoming too commonplace in the nation and have "increased everyone's concern about school safety," Kearns said.
There is little a municipality can do in Ohio, she said.
The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the concept that firearms regulations in the state are "general law" that can be enacted only at the state level and not by municipalities, Smith said.
"It's too bad that communities aren't allowed to exercise their home-rule authority in matters like this," Reynolds said.
That restriction was strengthened in House Bill 228, which former Gov. John Kasich vetoed late late year. The General Assembly later voted to override the veto.
"We have the primary responsibility for public safety in our jurisdictions, yet there's not much we can do to take any direct action," Kearns said.
"You might say that if we pass a resolution regarding gun safety that it would only be a symbolic act," Smith said, "but it would be our chance to make our feelings known to the legislators who represent us at the state and national level that we support common-sense gun measures that wouldn't take away our basic right to own guns."
Those "common-sense" measures could include requiring background checks for all firearms purchases or adopting a "red-flag" law that would allow families or law enforcement to petition a court to order the confiscation of guns from people who appear to be a risk to themselves or others, Reynolds said.
"We also could do more to promote gun education in our state," he said.
The committee has not yet finalized the resolution that it will send to the full council, but the expectation is that it will be presented at council's March 18 meeting, Reynolds said.
"Everyone on the safety committee is in general agreement we should have a resolution, but it's just a matter of ironing out the final details," Smith said.
Kearns said she expects the full council to vote to approve the resolution, which would be sent to state and national legislators who represent Grandview.
Although resolutions often are adopted on a first reading, council may wait until its April 15 meeting to vote on this measure, she said.
The idea would be to adopt the resolution just ahead of the 20th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School, which occurred April 20, 1999, Reynolds said.
The extended time also would give residents on all sides of the issue a chance to offer their feedback to council before adoption, he said.