Ohio Gov. DeWine highlights murder of 4-year-old Struthers boy in call to pass gun bill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine spoke about recent violence in the state as he called on the general assembly to pass gun legislation.

During his coronavirus news conference on Tuesday, the governor brought attention to 4-year-old Rowan Sweeney. The boy died in his mother’s arms during a shooting at a home in Struthers early Monday morning. Four adults were also injured.

“He’s a 4-year-old, an innocent child and his future full of infinite possibilities,” DeWine said. “What a horrible, horrible senseless tragedy.”

The governor also talked about 6-year-old King Pleasant, who was shot and killed in Canton, as well as a 23-year-old woman murdered in Akron and a 10-year-old shot in the back in Cleveland.

“This time next week more will have died. That’s why I keep talking about the legislation we have in the general assembly,” DeWine said.

The Strong Ohio bill was introduced in the state general assembly in October. It includes safety protection orders, thorough background checks, new state background checks and greater penalties for gun crimes. A key component increasing the penalty for those who are found with a gun while legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

“Most of the gun violence we are seeing is committed by people who legally can’t have a gun anyway. Already they can’t have a gun. Current law is clearly not tough enough since these individuals continue to carry and use weapons,” the governor said.

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