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What the Mayor of the Host City for the Next Republican National Convention Wants to Do With Guns


"The United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state laws or federal laws are the only means by which regulation may be imposed on firearms in the state of Ohio."

ADVANCED FOR RELEASE SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014 TJ McCormack, manager at National Pawn Co., polishes a gun at the store along East 10th Street in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Argus Leader, Jay Pickthorn) AP Photo/Argus Leader, Jay Pickthorn

Cleveland gets the 2016 Republican National Convention, the return of Lebron James to the Cavaliers and potentially stricter gun control measures if the city council approves a package being pushed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (D) this week.

This May 29, 2014 photo shows Thompson automatic submachine guns that are being put up for auction by the St. Louis Police Department on display at police headquarters in St. Louis. St. Louis police took them out of service perhaps 60 years ago, but 29 are still stored in a basement bunker at the Police Academy downtown, with a 30th in the crime lab. Chief Sam Dotson and some collectors think it may be the biggest police-owned stock of Thompsons in the United States. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Christian Gooden)

The proposed ordinance would limit gun purchases to one per person per three months; prohibit gun owners from leaving firearms in an area accessible to minors; and create a registry in the city that would require convicted gun offenders to register with police for four years.

The ordinance would further bring back past laws such as requiring school officials to notify police when a weapon is found on school property, allow people to voluntarily surrender guns to police without penalty and banning the sale and manufacturing of gun replicas.

The pending laws prompted large protest Sunday afternoon, The Plain Dealer reported.

Those opposing the new restrictions carried rifles and wore NRA paraphernalia, the paper said, while those supporting the new laws were described as “flower children" who "carried anti-gun signs, and danced to the beat of a tambourine.”

"The mayor should have a right to tailor laws to the city of Cleveland to restrict gun access to minors," Ariel Clayton, a 26-year-old anti-gun protester told the newspaper.

Already the potential law is facing legal questions.

"The United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state laws or federal laws are the only means by which regulation may be imposed on firearms in the state of Ohio," Ohioans for Concealed Carry president Jeff Garvas wrote in a letter Friday to Cleveland law director Barbara Langhenry, according to the Plain Dealer.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry plans to file a suit against the proposal's constitutionality if it passes, Legislative Director Chuck LaRosa said.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that the Ohio state legislatures can pass a statewide law that blocked much of what Cleveland and other Ohio cities had passed that banned “assault weapons” and required registration of handguns.

If the ordinances pass, and litigation is prolonged, it could overlap with the 2016 convention, putting gun control on the national agenda. Though gun control is typically a losing issue for Democrats, it's also a polarizing enough issue that Republicans would likely prefer to avoid talking about during a convention when the goal is to sell their presidential nominee to the public.

Follow Fred Lucas (@FredVLucas3) on Twitter

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