Cleveland City Council President: Gun Control Needed Whether It Works or Not

gun control

On April 20, the Cleveland City Council passed a sweeping body of gun control measures supported by Mayor Frank Jackson (D), although there is a great deal of concern about whether the measures are effective or even enforceable.

City Council President Kevin Kelley (D) made clear his belief that the effectiveness of the measures ought not become a litmus test. Rather, he asserted that the gun control should pass because it is a “reflection of [the] council’s values and is good public policy.”

According to, Kelley went so far as to admit “the legislation was not designed to stop gun violence” to begin with. Instead, he hopes it will “encourage responsible gun ownership.”

Here are the myriad new gun control measures that were passed on April 20 to reflect the council’s values:

  • Prohibits carrying a concealed deadly weapon or handgun, unless the person is a police officer or a person who holds a license to carry a concealed weapon.
  • Requires a person who sells or transfers a gun, and who is not a licensed gun dealer, to report such transactions to police
  • Requires an owner to report a lost or stolen gun to police.
  • Creates a gun offender registry, requiring people convicted of gun crimes to register their names with Cleveland’s Safety Director.
  • Prohibits the display, marking or sale of a facsimile firearm and prohibits brandishing a facsimile firearm in the presence of law enforcement or with the intent to frighten people.
  • Prohibits the negligent transfer of a firearm to a felon or intoxicated person.
  • Sets restrictions for firearms in the hands of minors and restricts discharging firearms in public areas, including schools, churches, cemeteries, playgrounds, and parks.
  • Requires owners to safely store firearms to keep them from being stolen or out of the hands of children.

Note the gun offender registry. It will ensure that people who commit a crime with a gun, and do time, will remain under police watch and have to check in with the government once released from jail or prison. In other words, it is post-prison prison.

Note also the requirement barring any gun sales and transfers, save those about which the police are informed. Does this mean criminals and gang members will no longer sell or transfer guns without talking to police, or is it really just another law that will burden law-abiding citizens?

Cleveland Safety Director Michael McGrath is a proponent of the new gun laws, although he admitted they might not do any good. McGrath said, “But at least we’re in the batter’s box swinging the bat, instead of doing nothing.”

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