Last year Ohio removed so-called pit bulls from its dangerous dog definition via HB 14. As such, it is astounding that some Ohio communities — like Swanton and Reynoldsburg — refuse to repeal their breed-specific legislation (BSL) despite their utter failure to be able to enforce it. It’s no secret that BSL is ineffective and unenforceable, as even the White House now acknowledges, yet some communities still cling to the fiction that breed bans keep residents safe.
For instance, when pit bull advocates lobbied the Parma, Ohio City Council recently to have Parma’s circa 1987 pit bull ban repealed, Ward 4 Councilman Brian Day, chair of the councils Public Safety Committee, said,
Im not willing to take the risk of changing the ordinance, and then something happens to somebody, he said.
Ironically, the breed-specific legislation that Parma has clung to for 26 years is what has put the community at risk.
Why does BSL put communities at risk? Because as counties like Denver and Miami-Dade and cities like Winnipeg have shown, areas where BSL has been passed often see dog bite incidences greatly increase. Shouldn’t the chair of the Public Safety Committee be current on data like Denver’s and Miami-Dade’s, especially if he’s going to defend what all the rest of the country already knows is archaic, ineffective, and unconstitutional legislation?