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Over 1,500 guns seized in Columbus so far this year

Columbus and federal law enforcement have seized over 1,500 illegal guns so far this year.
Andrew Ginther
Columbus and federal law enforcement have seized over 1,500 illegal guns so far this year.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and city leaders held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the city's efforts to combat gun violence in the city. The mayor said that while murders are down 40% from this time last year, too many people are still dying from violent crimes.

Ginther, pointing to several tables of seized guns, said the guns on those tables only represented 10% of the guns seized this year. He said more than 1,500 guns have been pulled from Columbus streets so far this year.

"Our partnership with the ATF and the US Attorney's Office is critical to our overall strategy to fight violent crime in Columbus. And that's why we'll be devoting an additional $250,000 for additional attorneys to assist in this effort," Ginther announced Tuesday.

The mayor was joined by Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, Council President Shannon Hardin, Police Chief Elaine Bryant, and Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts.

“A 2018 study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, found that guns purchased in Ohio made up 18% of the guns recovered and trace from crimes committed in New York, a profoundly disturbing trend that has unfortunately persisted over time,“ said Ginther.

Columbus city leaders called on state lawmakers to do more to help cities like Columbus reduce gun violence, such as banning assault weapons, creating uniform background checks and implementing red flag laws.

“More guns, less training, and fewer permits are precisely what we do not need at this moment and will in no way prevent more senseless gun related deaths from plaguing our neighborhoods and shattering the lives of our neighbors," the mayor said.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.