After nine months of debate, Cleveland’s City Council passed legislation that Mayor Frank Jackson says will encourage responsible gun ownership and help prevent firearms from ending up in the hands of criminals, reports the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The law requires gun offenders to register with the city’s safety department within five days of either being released from prison or moving to Cleveland.
Only Councilman Zack Reed voted against it. He argued the legislation is powerless to address gun violence in the city. He said that Chicago has even more restrictive gun laws, yet that city’s homicide rate is as high as ever. Safety Director Michael McGrath said, “At least we’re in the batter’s box swinging the bat, instead of doing nothing. … All we’re doing here, sir, is trying to make a difference. I don’t know what impact this ordinance will have but we’re trying to move forward. We’re trying to support the police officers and the community.” Councilman Michael Polensek voted for the bill but said he doubted that “things will dramatically change in this city. And they are not, because the bad guys are not turning in their guns. The bad guys are not registering. The kids who want to shoot indiscriminately on the street won’t stop.”