COLUMBUS – Today, Senator Joe Schiavoni, candidate for Ohio governor, released the following statement detailing his plan to help prevent school shootings and protect Ohio students:
“On Wednesday, just a couple weeks into February, the United States experienced yet another school shooting. 17 individuals – many of them young people – lost their lives inside their classrooms. All they did was go to school.
“As a parent, I can’t comprehend the pain those families are experiencing. It’s made even worse when I wonder if something could have been done to prevent this tragedy.
“I firmly believe in our Second Amendment right to own firearms, but our kids trust us to keep them safe from evils like this. At least six school shootings in the first two months of 2018 means something isn’t working.
“No more vague tweets. No more empty condolences. Elected officials need to take action.
Here’s what I’m going to do:
1.) I have now twice introduced a bill to fund increased safety measures in schools. Both times, my GOP colleagues in the Statehouse failed to pass it. I have now reintroduced this bill a third time. This time, we’re going to get it passed.
2.) We are sitting down with policy experts, firearms experts, advocacy groups, law enforcement, and others to write legislation that would strengthen background checks in Ohio and help stop individuals with severe mental health issues from obtaining firearms. We will examine potential gun show, pawn shop, and internet loopholes in the law.
3.) We are sitting down with policy experts, firearms experts, advocacy groups, law enforcement, and others to write legislation to increase regulations on AR-15 style firearms. AR-15s are easily adaptable, highly accurate, and have been used in several of the deadliest mass shootings in recent months. They shouldn’t be so easily accessible.
“Individuals who want to own these firearms should be required to complete regular trainings, pay additional fees, and pass thorough background checks. These changes would help limit the number of AR-15 style weapons sold in Ohio, but would still allow responsible Ohioans to go through a process to own them.
4.) I am calling for the state to work with communities and educators to fund and expand wraparound service models in Ohio schools. These types of education models are used in several schools across the state to great success. They help us provide mental health care, skills training, physical health services, and after-school programs for children and parents in the community. If we can provide holistic care at every level of a child’s development, we can catch some of the warning signs early and work to prevent future tragedies.
**UPDATE** 5.) Senator Sandra Williams and I are writing a “red flag” bill that would allow family members or law enforcement to ask a civil court to temporarily remove firearms from people who present an imminent threat to themselves or others. This “extreme risk protection order” (ERPO) could last up to one year. Republicans such as John Kasich and President Trump have expressed support for these red flag bills.
“Basic safety measures do not infringe on anyone’s rights. We will never stop all of these tragedies, but we can stop some. And every child spared is worth it.”
Senator Joe Schiavoni has been receiving incredible feedback from parents, students, and concerned Ohioans across the state about this issue. He is considering all suggestions for reform.
Joe posted this Facebook Live video on 2.22.18, updating voters on his search to find the most effective gun reforms for Ohio. He expressed his fears as a parent, and shared his plans for gun reform moving forward.
Joe has been deeply impacted by the Parkland survivors and students across the country – they’re taking action when politicians won’t. He doesn’t have all the answers, but he knows more must be done.