Ohio House bill introduced to limit firearm magazine capacity

An Ohio House bill introduced Friday seeks to limit firearm magazine capacity.

The bill proposes to make a targeted change to reimplement the state’s pre-2015 prohibition on firearms that can shoot more than 31 rounds without reloading.

The bill was created in response to the Aug. 4, 2019, mass shooting in Dayton’s historic Oregon District that killed nine people and wounded dozens more, according to a release issued by state Rep. Willis Blackshear Jr., D-Dayton, who introduced the legislation.

Six Dayton police officers ran toward the gunman and killed him, stopping a mass shooting 32 seconds after it started. However, in that time the shooter was able to fire 41 rounds of a 100-round “double drum” magazine.

Former Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl was among those who advocate reduced magazine capacity, which he said would reduce the carnage of mass shootings.

Biehl said last March that he believes fewer people would have been shot and potentially more people would have survived the Oregon District mass shooting had the gunman had reduced capacity magazines that would have required him to reload.

“He was firing on average, because he was not firing nonstop, roughly about two shots per second, so if it took him three seconds, four seconds (to reload) — that’s eight shots potentially not fired, and that’s potentially three, four, five, six, depending on proximity, victims not shot,” Biehl said previously. “Those seconds matter, and we need all the seconds we can.”

Some guns rights groups say that research has found no conclusive evidence that banning so-called “large capacity” magazines has an effect on mass shootings or violent crime.

The Buckeye Firearms Association opposes magazine restrictions. The Second Amendment protects the right of citizens to own and carry firearms, and that protection extends to the parts and components of those firearms, said Dean Rieck, the association’s executive director, last year.

Biehl, who was Dayton’s police chief at the time of the mass shooting, said he supports limiting gun magazines to between 15 and 30 rounds, and that any magazine that can hold more than 30 bullets is excessive and should be outlawed.

The bill awaits a bill number and referral to a committee, the release stated.

Staff Writer Cornelius Frolik contributed to this report.

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