Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig, Cincinnati City Council Member and retired police officer Cecil Thomas and other community leaders held a press conference Thursday calling for action on stronger gun safety laws.
The event was part of a nationwide effort called States United to Prevent Gun Violence.
"As Cincinnati's police chief, I've dealt with this issue far too often. We have lost too many citizens and too many young people to not speak out and do something about this problem," said Police Chief Craig.
Participants at the press conference called for background checks for every gun purchase.
"Our country won't limit gun violence unless we make sure that every gun buyer – regardless of where the gun is purchased – goes through a background check," said Thomas.
In addition, the group called for a ban on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazine clips. Thomas said, "We can't have our city's police officers who carry handguns going after criminals armed with military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines."
Thirdly, Craig and Thomas called for making gun trafficking a federal crime.
Police Chief Craig also made clear that he and other advocates for stronger gun safety laws respect the right to lawful gun ownership.
"We are not against lawful gun ownership," said Craig. "We are not anti-gun, as some say. We are not against the Second Amendment. But we believe the right to lawful gun ownership can goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, violent abusers and the seriously mentally ill."
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