COLUMBUS, Ohio —  Immediately following the tragedy, state legislators vowed to enact gun reform legislation. Yet, a year later, there are no new gun laws. Two lawmakers who spoke with Spectrum News Statehouse Reporter Josh Rultenberg say they still hope that changes.

What You Need To Know

  • The STRONG Ohio Bill has had three hearings

  • HB 316 has yet to receive a hearing

  • Senator Dolan and Representative Russo are not confident their bills will pass the state legislature

The day after the mass shooting in Dayton, Governor Mike DeWine was speaking to a crowd of mourners, when they interrupted him with chants for change.​

"Do Something! Do Something! Do Something!," they cried.

DeWine promised he would do something, and he did. He stood next to Republican Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), who sponsored a proposal called "STRONG Ohio." The bill calls for stronger penalties for gun violations by felons, so-called straw purchases, and selling to minors. It would also create a state-run voluntary background check system for private gun sales and expand three-day mental health holds to include drug and alcohol abusers, during which they could not get a gun.

"My bill would curb gun violence in Ohio. We haven't had a hearing on it since December," said Dolan.

Meanwhile, Democratic Representative Allison Russo (Upper Arlington) has not had a single hearing concerning her "red flag law" idea, House Bill 316. The bill calls for the creation of extreme risk protection orders "designed to temporarily keep guns away from people who are at a high risk of committing violence," according to the Giffords Law Center. Russo blames the gun lobby for being too deep in certain legislators' pockets.

"What we have seen instead is issues that expand gun ownership in this state get hearings and get movement, and I think that is outrageous considering what happened a year ago in Dayton," said Russo.​

Time is running out for this General Assembly to act. There are only three months to Election Day, followed by the year-end Lame Duck period. Neither Dolan nor Russo are confident their bills or any other gun reform legislation will become law by then.

"I can assure you this, if it does not pass this term I will reintroduce this bill should I be successful in my reelection in January," said Dolan.​​

"We have the opportunity on November 3 for voters to demand that their representatives take action on this issue, and if they're not willing to do that and if they're not willing to advocate for this issue, then that needs to be reflected in their vote," said Russo.

Dolan and Russo are both apologetic to the families affected by gun violence for not getting their bills signed into law.

"If I had to summarize in one word my overall feelings is disappointment, extreme disappointment. We have still done nothing meaningful in the state of Ohio to curb gun violence," Russo said.