Ohio Democrat Unveils Bill to Ban 'Mass Casualty Guns'

AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File

An Ohio Democrat looks to be test-driving a new phrase for the gun control lobby; rebranding semi-automatic firearms as "mass casualty weapons" in a new bill that would ban their possession and use across the state. 


So what exactly is a "mass casualty weapon", at least in the eyes of Dayton Democrat Rep. Willis Blackshear? As his legislation defines it:

"Mass casualty weapon" means any semi-automatic firearm designed or specially adapted to fire more than thirty one cartridges without reloading, other than a firearm chambering only .22 caliber short, long, or long-rifle cartridges.

An anti-gun judge could easily interpret this to ban the possession of any semi-automatic firearm with a detachable magazine, which I suspect is Blackshear's intent. He could have written a bill banning magazines over 30-rounds if he wanted, but instead he (or more likely, his friends at Everytown) decided to go after a broad ban on semi-automatic firearms; daring Republicans to support the ownership and carrying of "mass casualty weapons". 

Blackshear's bill doesn't stop with banning the vast majority of semi-automatic firearms in existence. It also includes a ban on "dangerous ordnance", which in Blackshear's view encompasses suppressors. 

Republican Rep. Josh Williams (R-Sylvania) accurately describes the bill as “100% unconstitutional.”

“It is so broad of a definition that it will encompass every single semi-automatic gun known to man other than the very small .22 long rifle caliber,” Williams said. “You’re not going to be able to ban every single gun that Ohioans possess and think it going to pass a constitutional challenge.”

Ohio law used to ban guns with a magazine of more than 30 rounds. That ban was reversed nearly ten years ago in 2015. In his testimony for the bill, Blackshear writes, “We simply want to go back to the commonsense regulation Ohio had in place before 2015.” 


Again, if he wanted to do that he could have written a magazine ban bill. Instead, he wrote a gun ban bill. Honestly, even if Blackshear had limited his prohibition solely to "large capacity" magazines that can hold more than 30 rounds, I doubt it would have successfully cleared the House, where Republicans hold a supermajority. But since no gun control is going to get far in the statehouse, Blackshear wasn't interested in the art of what's possible. He drafted a bill that would give him and anti-gunners what they really want; a ban on the most commonly owned firearms in the country. 

Blackshear's bid to ban semi-automatic firearms with detachable magazines comes on the heels of Chicago suing Glock because some criminals are illegally converting them to machine guns, as well as more than a dozen blue-state AGs warning Glock that they're also likely to file suit in the near future. 

These attacks are all the more reason for the Supreme Court to grant cert to the lawsuits challenging "assault weapons" bans in Illinois and Maryland at its conference tomorrow. Almost sixteen years after SCOTUS struck down Washington, D.C's ban on handguns as a violation of the Second Amendment, the anti-gunners are now trying to make the vast majority of semi-automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns illegal to possess. The Court has the opportunity to stop these abuses in their tracks, and if they don't the gun control lobby is just going to become more emboldened to enact these kinds of outrageous prohibitions in states that are far more amenable to Second Amendment infringements than Ohio. 


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