Stand Your Ground!

Ohio passes law allowing deadly force in self defense


Residents of Ohio gather to protest for the Black Lives Matter movement.

In April, the residents of Ohio will have the right to use deadly force in public if they feel as if their lives are being threatened. On January 4, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a law despite controversy surrounding one amendment from the bill that includes a stand-your-ground law.
In a written statement, DeWine said, “I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation.”
DeWine believes that Senate Bill 175 accomplishes this goal. The bill was originally intended to give churches, synagogues and mosques privilege in self-defense shootings. Legislators attached an amendment that removes a gun user’s responsibility to retreat before the bipartisan bill passed out of both the State House and Senate.
Before this bill was passed, it was only legal for Ohioans to defend themselves using deadly force while in their homes or cars.
In October 2019, DeWine proposed the Strong Ohio bill which would reform the state’s gun laws and would increase penalties for gun-related offenses. These penalties include: selling a gun to a minor, providing a gun to someone who cannot legally own one, being caught illegally carrying a gun, and buying a gun for someone else.
“I am very disappointed,” DeWine said, “the legislature did not include in this bill the essential provisions that I proposed to make it harder for dangerous criminals to illegally possess and use guns.”
The governor believes that the national and state background check systems are sometimes missing important information such as convictions, active protection orders and open warrants.
DeWine originally was going to veto Senate Bill 175 and told lawmakers they should be focusing on his Strong Ohio bill, but instead he signed it.
“Requiring the submission of this important information into the background check systems is a common-sense reform that I will continue to pressure,” said DeWine.
However, the NAACP Cincinnati Chapter is not in favor of the bill and believes the stand-your-ground provision makes the self-defense claim too broad and will unduly justify the murder of innocent people.
“I don’t support this because it will continue to have innocent people killed,” Ohio resident Paige Gunther said, “and this is going to affect the Black community, not in a positive way.”
Others have the same belief that the bill is going to increase violent rioting and will do more harm than good.
The Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley tweeted in response to the bill, “Our state needs principled leaders who will stand up for what is right – not what is politically easy.”
Ohio is now the 36th state who does not require citizens to retreat before they use their weapon in self-defense.
Our state is one of the 28 states in which
there is no duty to retreat from an attacker in any place in which one is lawfully present.