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Ohio lawmakers introduce bill to ban assault weapons


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- The gun control debate is firing up again in Ohio.

On Tuesday, Senators Charleta Tavares and Michael Skindell introduced a bill that would ban assault weapons.

"What we were doing is going after the guns that wage war and that's what these guns were designed for,” said Senator Skindell.

Skindell, a lawmaker from northeastern Ohio, said the bill was introduced after deadly mass shootings in Parkland, Florida and Las Vegas.

The bill makes possessing or acquiring an assault weapon a fifth-degree felony.

Senate Bill 260 defines an assault weapon as, "a semi-automatic firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine with the capacity to accept ten or more cartridges, and a semi-automatic firearm with a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept ten or more cartridges."

"It shows you they don't know what they're talking about,” said Eric Delbert with LEPD Firearms and Range.

Delbert explained under the legislation, a majority of firearms in his store would be outlawed. He said lawmakers need to focus less on making new laws and more on issues like background checks and straw gun purchases.

"Bad people are going to do bad things and so to put another law into place there is not going to affect change. Maybe we need to enforce laws,” said Delbert.

Senators Tavares and Skindell introduced similar legislation in 2013. Senator Skindell hopes for a different outcome with this bill.

"I would not want to be the legislator that would oppose this legislation and have a school in their district shot up."

The bill now heads to a Senate committee for consideration.

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