Akron City Council overwhelmingly passed a resolution Monday that asks state lawmakers to ban assault weapons and other devices used in recent mass shootings.

Councilwoman Tara Samples, who represents much of downtown and South Akron, first proposed the plan in a public safety committee meeting Monday afternoon. The resolution is not law; it asks the legislature to enact gun control that failed in the U.S. Senate in 2013.

Specifically, council is asking the Ohio legislature — which has stopped cities from regulating guns locally — to outlaw the sale of semi-automatic rifles like those used to kill dozens at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida this month and at a country music concert in Las Vegas in October. The resolution also calls for magazines of no more than 10 bullets and the prohibition of bump stocks and trigger cranks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly.

A half-hour into the public meeting Monday evening, Samples made a motion to convene a special committee of the whole, which took up her proposal. “Enough is enough,” Samples told her colleagues after recounting just those who died from an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in 2015.

“No more prayers and condolences without action,” she said.

All council members, except Councilman Bob Hoch of Ellet and Donnie Kammer of Firestone Park, voted for the resolution at the night meeting.

Earlier Monday afternoon, Hoch — calling Samples’ plan an impractical “proposal of emotion and feeling and not fact” — quoted a Fox News report and the Second Amendment arguments of Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise. Hoch said he would support banning bump stocks but is on the fence about semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines.

Kammer, who said he’s been listening to talk radio debates about gun control, accused Samples, a running mate for Dennis Kucinich in the Ohio governor’s race, of using a recent school shooting to advance her campaign, “to get their name out there,” he said.

Samples rebuffed that assertion. She pointed to the names of five colleagues who supported her plan, which gained two more names by the end of the afternoon debate.

Council members reminded Hoch, who agreed with Kammer’s theory about Samples’ political motives, that she and co-sponsor Veronica Sims have been calling for gun buybacks and exploring ways to ban bump stocks ever since the Las Vegas shooter killed 58 concertgoers in October using a rifle made automatic by the device.

Joining Samples to urge state action were council members and co-sponsors Sims, Jeff Fusco, Bruce Kilby, Zack Milkovich, Russ Neal, Linda Omobien, Marilyn Keith and Rich Swirsky. All but Kilby spoke in favor of the plan before three of five members on the public safety committee rejected the plan.

Keith joined Hoch and Kammer in voting no, saying that she would have appreciated more time to consider the resolution. However, Keith voted for the resolution Monday night.

Kammer said he would support banning semi-automatic rifles, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. Hoch only committed to outlawing bump stocks. Both councilmen supported a 2015 resolution for “common sense gun control” days after a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.

State (in)action

Meanwhile, two bills that would regulate guns are either new or stuck in the Ohio legislature.

Senate Bill 260, introduced last week by Democrats, would require firearm and ammo purchases to be tracked as well as ban semi-automatic weapons, a broad definition that might include handguns, as well.

House Bill 395, which is supported by Rep. Tavia Galonski, D-Akron, would outlaw devices that make semi-automatic weapons, which fire each time the trigger is squeezed, operate like machine guns.

Hoch made mention of HB 395, saying that the legislature is already addressing the issue of gun control. “I think asking the Ohio General Assembly to enact legislation is kind of moot because they are already doing it. They are addressing this and they have legislation going through committee,” Hoch said.

It took two months, however, for the first hearing on HB 395, which hasn’t been considered again for nearly a month. And SB 260 has only just been introduced.

Campaign politics

Samples scoffed at the notion that politics have anything to do with the timing of her plan. “No, not at all,” she said when a reporter asked about a reference in the resolution that called out Richard Cordray, though not by name, as a former opponent to gun control.

Cordray and U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Copley are challenging Kucinich and Samples in the Democratic primary for Ohio governor.

Samples’ resolution alludes to Cordray as the former Ohio attorney general who joined the National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearm Association in a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case that challenged whether Chicago had run afoul of the Second Amendment by passing tough local gun control. Cordray’s office is mentioned as the lead author in the legal argument upholding the Second Amendment.

Samples also references a 2006 Ohio Supreme Court case, before Cordray was attorney general, in which Cleveland officials lost a claim to regulate guns at the local level.

Now one of the leading Democrats running for governor, Cordray has said he was only doing his job in 2010 as Ohio’s top defense attorney, even if that duty conflicted with his personal position on guns.

“Rich Cordray is focused on bringing people together to stop gun violence in Ohio and save lives; that’s why his plan would put in place practical solutions like universal background checks, improved school safety and a ban on high-capacity magazines and bump stocks,” said Mike Gwin, a spokesperson for Cordray.

Reach Doug Livingston at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @ABJDoug on Twitter