Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announces new policy to address gun violence

Posted on 9/11/2023

Defendant: Press Release

Prosecutors to seek $400,000 bond for defendants
with prior felonies who are caught with firearms

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Deputy Chief Counsel Anthony Pierson announced a new policy designed to address gun violence in central Ohio.

Beginning today, Franklin County prosecutors will seek a minimum bond of $400,000 for anyone charged with possessing a weapon while under disability if the disqualifying offense is a felony 1 or felony 2 offense of violence. A weapon under disability charge applies to an individual with a previous felony conviction involving drugs or violence.

"Gun violence is the primary threat to public safety in Franklin County," Pierson said. "This new policy creates a consistent standard for prosecuting felons who are caught with a gun, and it puts them on notice that the illegal possession of a firearm will have severe consequences.”

Previously, county prosecutors have sought a variety of bond amounts for weapons under disability charges, often well below $400,000. Judges will maintain the ultimate authority to determine the bond amount.

“I support this new approach from the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. This policy provides another effective tool in the fight against the gun violence that is plaguing our community,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, whose office also recently announced a new policy to seek higher, tougher bonds for domestic violence offenses involving a firearm or significant bodily injury to the victim.