Feb 17, 2022 - News

Mayor Ginther: Gun violence is "plaguing our city"

State lawmaker Dontavius Jarrells speaks at an anti-violence rally at Columbus City Hall with two activists pictured behind him.
Democratic lawmaker Dontavius Jarrells, who represents northeast Columbus, speaks at a rally against violence last year. Jarrells and other local activists are among those involved in a new Columbus Alliance Against Illegal Guns coalition announced Monday. Photo by Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The night before Columbus leaders gathered to announce new gun violence prevention initiatives on Monday, a man was shot and injured inside an Old North bar.

  • A few hours after the announcement, another man was shot while walking in a northeast side park.
  • And later that night, just a half-mile from where the news conference was held, shots fired at two houses in Linden injured a woman inside one of them.

What they're saying: "We are less than as a community because of gun violence," Mayor Andrew Ginther said at Linden Community Center.

  • "This issue is plaguing our city to a staggering degree."

What's happening: The mayor declared gun violence a public health crisis, mobilizing the city health department to work with other local agencies toward stemming the problem.

  • Ginther also announced the creation of the Columbus Alliance Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of activists, medical professionals and faith leaders he said would push for gun control legislation at the Ohio Statehouse and in Congress.

Separately, Columbus seeks to join a national Firearms Trafficking Strike Force launched by the Biden administration last summer to help crack down on an illegal gun trade Ginther notes is contributing to the city's record homicide rate.

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