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  1. ITV Report

Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine calls for tougher gun checks after nine killed in Dayton massacre

The move is unusual for a Republican, traditionally stoic on the right to bear arms. Credit: AP

Ohio's Republican Governor has urged lawmakers to pass legislation making it harder to obtain firearms.

Governor Mike DeWine is under pressure following a bloody weekend which saw 31 people lose their lives to gun violence in the United States, including nine killed in the state he represents by a 24-year-old.

Despite his party's traditionally laissez faire stance on gun control, Mr DeWine said authorities need to do more to combat the issue.

He conceded people should retain the right to bear firearms, but their profile should be thoroughly checked before they are allowed to purchase a weapon.

He outlined a series of measures, which would include looking into the mental health of prospective gun owners and checking issues with gun violence.

Speaking on Tuesday, he said: "We can come together to do these things to save lives."

The measures, which have been called "common sense" by Dayton's mayor, could be an uphill struggle given his predecessor failed to pass a so-called red flag law to restrict firearms access to those considered a threat.

  • What did police know about the person behind the last shooting?
Mourners embrace near a makeshift memorial near the scene of the shooting Credit: AP

Before embarking on the massacre outside a nightclub, police had only once spoken to Connor Betts.

The 24-year-old had been stopped for a traffic violation - but didn't have a criminal record or anything to suggest he shouldn't be able to purchase a weapon.

Under state law, the lack marks on his file would not have impeded him from buying a weapon.

Connor Betts caused carnage as he opened fire on bar-goers in Ohio. Credit: AP

In the aftermath of the shooting, former classmates have spoken about red flags they claimed were missed.

They allege Betts was suspended during their junior year at Bellbrook High, after a hit list he wrote was found in a school bathroom.

It is also claimed he had written a list of female students he wanted to sexually assault, for which has was suspended.

Other fellow students claimed Betts was a "bully" and "enjoyed making people afraid".

Anti-gun voices have been prominent in the days after the Ohio shooting. Credit: AP

Yet despite this, Betts was able to obtain an AR-15 weapon to carry out that massacre in his hometown - injuring a close friend and killing his own sister.

The carnage orchestrated by Betts is the 250th mass shooting in America since the start of 2019.

President Donald Trump has called on lawmakers to "come together" on "strong background checks".

Previous measures to better regulate access to weapons have stalled in the Republican dominated US Senate.