Gov. DeWine expands `stand your ground’ law

Kelly J. Kaczala

        On Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 175, which includes changes in the “stand your ground” law.
        The law eliminates the duty to retreat in almost any public space before using force in self-defense, defense of another person or defense of certain property.
        "I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation,” said DeWine. “While campaigning for governor, I expressed my support for removing the ambiguity in Ohio’s self-defense law, and Senate Bill 175 accomplishes this goal. That is why I have signed this bill.”
        He said he was disappointed that the legislature did not include in the bill provisions that he had proposed that would make it harder for criminals to illegally possess and use guns.”
        "Right now, the national and state background check systems are sometimes missing vital information – things such as convictions, active protection orders, and open warrants – that alert law enforcement if they’re dealing with a wanted or potentially dangerous individual. This information is also used by the federal government to alert retailers when a convicted criminal or wanted subject prohibited from possessing a gun tries to buy one. Requiring the submission of this important information into the background check systems is a common-sense reform that I will continue to pursue. It has broad-based support from law enforcement, gun-store owners, and the National Rifle Association - which has long said that the background check system needs to be fixed,” he said.
        "I also support and will continue to seek strengthened penalties for criminals who illegally possess, purchase, and sell guns. These are the people who are most likely to use a gun to hurt someone, so it makes perfect sense for Ohio to get tough on those who are out to harm others.”
        Opponents of the bill believe the bill will likely lead to violent confrontations and gun deaths. The legislation is opposed by such groups as Moms Demand Action, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, the Chiefs of Police, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association, the ACLU, the Catholic Conference and the League of Women Voters of Ohio.
        Opponents note that Ohio experienced a spike in gun violence last year, particularly among youth. According to the Office of Criminal Justice in the Department of Public Safety, crimes involving gun violence increased by 17 percent in the first six months of 2020 in the eight largest cities in Ohio compared to the same period last year. Murder by firearms increased by 27 percent during the first six months of 2020.
        Supporters such as the National Rifle Association for Legislative Action, said the bill provides “important self-defense legislation that protects Ohioans should they ever be forced to defend themselves or their families while outside of their homes.”
        State Senator Tim Schaffer, who sponsored the legislation, said “the Constitutional protections in the bill affirm all law-abiding citizens the right to self-defense only when confronted by an aggressor with deadly force – nothing more and nothing less.”
        The bill also grants immunity from civil liability to nonprofit corporations when injury or death results from handguns carried by concealed-carry weapons licensees onto the nonprofit property or at its events.


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