COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - Ohio State Representative and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) announced Sunday that she will soon introduce legislation to require all BB guns, air rifles and airsoft guns sold in Ohio to be brightly colored or have prominent florescent strips.
This comes in response to the
who was shot at a Beavercreek Wal-Mart and Saturday afternoon's
"What do we do? How do we prevent this,” Reece asked.
“The shooting of John Crawford III devastated many people in our community and left us looking for answers,” said Rep. Reece in a release. “This bill is but one small step in addressing this tragedy and helping to prevent future deadly confrontations with someone who clearly presents little to no immediate threat or danger. With Saturday's deadly shooting of a 12-year-old in Cleveland, it is becoming crystal clear that we need this law in Ohio.”
According to a release, the bill will be modeled after California Senate Bill 199, which was introduced in response to the fatal shooting of two teenagers by law enforcement officers who confused their toy guns for real guns.
"They had a similar incident with the imitation guns. What this would do is make it distinguishable to every day citizens, law enforcement,” Reece said of California's legislation, which is the model for her bill.
"A lot of these guns are becoming more and more, very real to the naked eye,” Reece said.
Part of the bill is designed for police encountering these situations.
"If they distinguish them far enough, it would still help. But simply making them a different color or something along those lines, a 99-cent can of spray paint black and you've gone from a fluorescent orange to now a black gun that looks just like it normally does,” said Sgt. Gary Schloemer of the Delhi Township Police Department.
The gun in Saturday's shooting was a BB gun, with the orange safety indicator removed from the barrel.
"There has to be some distinguishable feature. Growing up everybody had play guns back in the day, but they were distinguishable. You knew exactly right away that it was a fake gun. But, now they've made them so real-looking and they've done everything that they can to make them look like a true, real gun, they're just becoming very dangerous," Schloemer said.
Reece admits her bill is just the first step in a long road to preventing these situations.
"It's a common sense, first-step approach, in a preventative way so that these tragedies hopefully won't ever happen again," Reece told FOX19 NOW.