Dayton's GOP congressman now supports 'restricting military-style weapon sales, magazine limits'

Ohio Rep. Mike Turner
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) announced his support for "restricting military-style weapon sales, magazine limits, and red flag legislation." Turner is a former mayor of Dayton, where a 24-year-old gunman murdered nine people early Sunday, and represents the city in Congress. "I understand not every shooting can be prevented or stopped from these measures, but I do believe these steps are essential," he wrote in a statement. The Dayton shooter, who was killed by police, carried an AR-15 style rifle and a 100-round magazine, and may have had 250 rounds on him. When he started firing, Turner's daughter was at a bar across the street.

"Red flag" laws, which are gaining support among congressional Republicans, would let authorities "quickly identify people who are dangerous and remove their ability to harm others," Turner said. Turner, who has a 93 percent rating from the NRA, voted against a bill to expand background checks that passed the House in February.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) also urged the GOP-controlled state Legislature to pass "red flag" legislation, require background checks for almost all gun sales in Ohio, increase programs to identify mental health risks, ramp up the monitoring of social media, and other measures. "We know there's going to be some violence; it's the world we live in," DeWine said. "But I can tell you this: If we do these things, it will matter. If we do these things, it will make us safer." DeWine said a ban on military-style weapons would be politically impossible in Ohio.

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DeWine's proposals face an uncertain future. His GOP predecessor, former Gov. John Kasich, proposed a similar package of gun laws last year, following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, and when the GOP legislature voted instead to expand gun owner rights, Kasich vetoed the law. Ohio Democrats urged the governor and legislative leaders to include them in crafting the legislation, noting that Democrats have already introduced bills this year that would accomplish some of what DeWine proposed.

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