The City of Columbus has won a federal grant to enforce gun laws and prevent homicides between intimate partners.
“Securing this technical assistance grant will help us expand our ability to enforce domestic violence-related firearms laws, which data proves can significantly reduce the rate of intimate partner homicide,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein in a statement.
The grant gives local law enforcement, health and court officials access to expert consultants and staff from the U.S. Department of Justice for training and technical assistance. Officials say the money will enable them to design and apply community-specific strategies to disarm abusers.
National statistics show that homicides between intimate partners is five times more likely to occur when an abuser has access to firearms.
The planning and assessment phase of the grant program will begin this summer.
In May 2018, Columbus City Council passed four ordinances that included laws to prohibit domestic abusers and other violent felons from possessing firearms. Pro-gun groups sued the city to overturn them, but a court upheld the ordinances. That decision was appealed, and a ruling on those laws are still pending.
“While the gun lobby continues promoting their extreme agenda by defending the rights of violent criminals and domestic abusers to keep firearms in the City of Columbu - even though federal law prohibits those convicted of domestic violence and other violent felonies from possessing firearms - we will keep fighting to make our community safer,” Klein says.
Both Columbus and Cincinnati have sued Ohio over a law passed in 2018 that prohibits local governments from passing gun control laws. Klein has argued that Columbus' laws merely fill in the gap between state and federal laws.