YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - With Senate debates next month set to be centered around gun control legislation, both Mahoning County proecutor Paul Gains and Ohio Representative Ron Gerberry D-59 are turning up the heat, hoping their voices are heard by those in Washington who have the power to ignite change.
"There's no better time than now in this country to do something to stop the violence, to stop it," Gerberry says.
The school shootings at at Sandy Hook Elementary sparked a renewed debate on gun control.
Next month, senate democrats plan to include expanded background checks for firearm purchases.
Tougher laws and stiffer sentences for illegal gun trafficking are also on the list.
Gains says enhancing penalties for firearm offenses could help intimidate individuals considering gun violence.
He suggests an eight-year sentence if a crime involves an assault rifle.
"That would act as the deterant in my opinion. If they know that they are going to do eight years before they even start doing time for the underlying offense, " Gains says.
Even if it means reaching across the aisle, Gerberry says it's time for action.
"We can find excuses not to do things, but I think it's time to set aside excuses as we did when President Reagan's attempt on his life happened and the Brady Bill was passed," Gerberry says.
Gerberry says he respects the right to bear arms, but hopes something is done to get guns out of the wrong hands.
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