COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — This week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signaled he was disappointed after the state legislature passed a controversial ”Stand Your Ground” measure during the Lame Duck session. He says he will address a possible veto later this week.
Stand Your Ground was placed on Senate Bill 175 and passed out of the legislature late last week. Current Ohio law requires someone to first attempt to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense any place that is not their vehicle or home. This bill removes the words vehicle and home, and instead people will have no duty to retreat as long as they are lawfully able to be somewhere.
Proponents of the bill say this is simply a way for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves without worrying about the possibility of prosecution.
“The second amendment does support and protect people in the state of Ohio, so anything that is pro second amendment I move forward on,” said Rep. Jena Powell, (R) Arcanum.
Opponents of the bill say it does the opposite of protect people, especially when it comes to Black Ohioans.
“What stand your ground does, it takes away the victims’ right to their day in court. You get to be the judge and the jury without any type of repercussions for it,” said Rep. Juanita Brent, (D) Cleveland.
Rep. Stephanie Howse says the pandemic has already upended many people and with a rise in gun violence across Ohio, she says this is a dangerous time for this bill.
“Now, couple that with a law that is literally a kill-at-will bill based on how someone feels is absolutely absurd,” said Rep. Howse, (D) Cleveland.
During his Monday coronavirus press briefing, Governor DeWine signaled he will veto the controversial bill. DeWine has pushed for months for the legislature to take up his gun reform package that was created after a mass shooting in Dayton last year.
“We know there are things that will absolutely save lives, protect children, protect families. Legislature can act on these and they unfortunately did not do so,” said Governor DeWine, (R) Ohio.