Cleveland City Council adopts legislation creating gun offender registry

CLEVELAND, Ohio — After nine months of debate, Cleveland City Council on Monday passed legislation that Mayor Frank Jackson says will encourage responsible gun ownership and help prevent firearms from ending up in the hands of criminals.

One of the provisions requires gun offenders to register with the city’s safety department within five days of either being released from prison or moving to Cleveland.

Others replace the city’s current gun ordinances with language that mirrors state law, including prohibitions against using a gun while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, defacing a gun’s serial number or allowing a minor to use a gun without supervision.

The duplication allows police to charge offenders under the city code instead of the state statute, which means the city keeps any fines collected, Chief Counsel Rick Horvath told members of City Council’s Finance Committee Monday.

The ordinance sets the following restrictions:

Prohibits carrying a concealed deadly weapon or handgun, unless the person is a police officer or a person who holds a license to carry a concealed weapon.

Requires a person who sells or transfers a gun, and who is not a licensed gun dealer, to report such transactions to police.

Requires an owner to report a lost or stolen gun to police.

Creates a gun offender registry, requiring people convicted of gun crimes to register their names with Cleveland’s Safety Director.

Prohibits the display, marking or sale of a facsimile firearm and prohibits brandishing a facsimile firearm in the presence of law enforcement or with the intent to frighten people.

Prohibits the negligent transfer of a firearm to a felon or intoxicated person.

Sets restrictions for firearms in the hands of minors and restricts discharging firearms in public areas, including schools, churches, cemeteries, playgrounds and parks.

Requires owners to safely store firearms to keep them from being stolen or out of the hands of children.

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