The Franklin County Libertarian Party believes that local governments should exist to protect individual rights, not turn those rights into a punishable crime.
Columbus City Council and Mayor Ginther recently passed ordinance 0680-2023 that would ban the sale and possession of firearm magazines with a capacity of 30 rounds or more within the city limits starting on July 1. With this piece of legislation, city leaders sought to “effectuate common sense gun reform”. City Attorney Zach Klein said that the ordinance “gives the individuals who currently own high-capacity clips a grace period to turn in those high-capacity clips […] to police.” When asked why the city chose 30 rounds as the legal cutoff point, Klein said, “Looking at what the size of clips could be, and looking at previous case law around the United States, we felt comfortable with 30.”
Mr. Klein’s repeated failure to understand basic terminology around firearms demonstrated by his use of the word ‘clip’ instead of ‘magazine’ should bar him from making a legal judgment of any kind on this issue. To be clear, this legislation will have no effect on the rising gun violence in Columbus. The city does not face a growing threat of homicides and assaults being performed by people carrying AR-style rifles or handguns with a drum magazine. Columbus city leaders are unwilling to address the sources and conditions that lead to violent crime. Their only interest appears to be virtual signaling to their voting base while simultaneously ignoring the rights of law-abiding residents.
What the legislation will do is create criminals out of otherwise peaceful citizens who own a completely innocuous piece of plastic. The ordinance does threaten those people who keep a standard-capacity magazine in their home with a mandatory minimum of 180 days in jail with no opportunity to continue working. In addition to jail time, these completely non-violent residents will be guilty of a misdemeanor and will be forced to pay a $1500 fine.
The Franklin County Libertarian Party believes that local governments should exist to protect individual rights, not turn those rights into a punishable crime. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories.