Ohio Cities Join Coalition Calling for New Gun-Safety Technology


The coalition was formed from the perspective of harm reduction. - ADOBESTOCK
  • AdobeStock
  • The coalition was formed from the perspective of harm reduction.

CINCINNATI - Toledo and Cincinnati officials are leading the Gun Safety Consortium, a group of cities across the United States that is calling on the gun industry to bring improved gun-safety products to market.

Gun-safety advocates point out that most smartphones are more secure than firearms. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said "smart" gun technology could help prevent the availability and access to guns that would otherwise, at a moment's notice, lead to fatalities.

"We've confiscated thousands of guns over the last year, and that is working and bringing down our homicides," he said. "Having said all that, the vast majority of inner-city violence is happening by lost or stolen guns, usually out of a glove compartment."

On Tuesday, the coalition formally issued a request for proposals for more and better products they can test to help keep guns safe and secure. Cranley noted that since last year, police officers also have begun evaluating emerging gun-security products while off duty.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said the coalition was formed from the perspective of harm reduction.

"We know we're not going to eliminate gun violence in the United States with this initiative, but we're going to reduce it," he said. "We're not going to save every life that is lost to gun violence in this country, but we'll save many lives. Just because we can't do everything doesn't mean we should do nothing."

After decades of federal inaction on gun control, said the Rev. Richard Gibson of Greater Cleveland Congregations, local cities, counties and states have an opportunity to take the reins.

"We're bringing all the collective power we can to assemble, to attack this problem in a new and productive way," he said.

Research has shown that more than half the nation's gun owners do not store their guns securely, and an estimated 400,000 guns are stolen - from homes, cars and businesses - each year. More than 1,500 Ohioans died by gun violence in 2019, according to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.

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