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Cleveland shooting sparks calls for gun safety measures

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(The Center Square) – Cleveland-area lawmakers are citing a Sunday-morning mass shooting that wounded nine people in the popular Warehouse District to push gun safety legislation already introduced in the House.

“What played out in our community is just one of more than 365 mass shootings in the U.S. this year already,” Reps. Darnell Brewer, D-Cleveland, Terrence Upchurch, D-Cleveland, and Juanita Brent, D-Cleveland, said in a joint statement. “Ohioans can’t afford to wait for more proof that it is well past the time to pass common sense gun safety measures that will keep our children, families and communities safe. Congress must step up and we will continue to engage our Ohio House of Representatives colleagues in meaningful dialogue to come together and find common ground to reduce gun violence and keep people safe.”

The shooting occurred in Upchurch’s district and included victims from the districts of both Brent and Brewer. The three representatives pointed to a report from Everytown For Gun Safety that showed Ohio with the 17th-highest rate of gun violence in the U.S., with 1,702 gun deaths annually.

According to CNN, police continue to search for the gunman who fired into a group of people before leaving the scene around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.

“The nine victims come from all across our communities and districts. Though there is not yet a loss of life, one victim is in critical condition,” the representatives said in the statement. “The truth is all victims, families and community members will bear the scars, trauma and devastation from this violent attack. As the investigation continues, we ask citizens and police to be safe until the perpetrator is brought to justice.”

During the current General Assembly session, House Democrats introduced five what they call “common sense” gun safety measures, including a proposed red flag law and another that would exempt the sale of firearm safety devices from sales tax.

The other bills would prohibit negligent firearm storage, require gun trigger locks with gun sales, and give local authority to regulate firearms.

The bills dealing with a red flag law and negligent firearm storage have had one hearing each in the House, while the others have not been scheduled for a hearing.

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