Ohio Legislature Passes ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Now Headed to Governor’s Desk

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine will decide whether Ohio becomes a “stand your ground” state this year. (Photo: Mike DeWine Facebook)

The Ohio legislature passed a bill this week that will expand protections for those who are forced to engage in armed self-defense to protect their lives or the lives of their family.

The provision removes the so-called “duty to retreat” from the state’s criminal codes and instead allows individuals to defend themselves with deadly force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence. The legislation expressly prohibits juries from considering whether the person could have retreated before using deadly force in self-defense.

Proponents of the bill argued that the state’s “castle doctrine” should be expanded to include anywhere a person is legally allowed to be.

“My right to defend myself from serious bodily harm or death does not change just because I am outside the walls of my home… inside or outside my car,” said Rep. Kyle Koehler, who introduced the proposal. “My right to defend myself from serious bodily harm or death should be extended to anywhere I am lawfully allowed to be.”

SEE ALSO: Know When to Stand Your Ground and When You Have a Duty to Retreat (Part I – Stand Your Ground)

Koehler argued that Ohio’s criminal codes shouldn’t place the responsibility to retreat on a gun owner when faced with a person who has no regard for the law.

“If someone is bent on killing another individual, the laws we write on paper do not matter,” he said.

Opponents of the bill argue that it will encourage gun owners to shoot innocent people. Actress Elizabeth Banks took to Twitter to criticize the policy with a story from her childhood.

“Stand Your Ground is BS. We used to play hide and seek all over the neighborhood on summer nights. Intent was to play. We were kids but some of my cousins were big guys. There were a few easily-jumped fences in the neighborhood but also houses with no fences at all. A new neighbor moved onto our street. Apparently he mistook us hiding behind trees in his unfenced yard at 9pm for… burglars? Predators?” she said.

Banks claimed that one neighbor shot an arrow at the trespassing children. He didn’t hit them, but she believes her experience proves the dangers of the policy.

“All I can think about when people pretend Stand Your Ground is about anything other than permission to kill people are those moments when I myself stepped onto a neighbor’s property. Where is the evidence that Stand Your Ground does anything but endanger your neighbors, their dogs, their kids? It helps nobody but people who want justified reasons to use a deadly weapon,” she said.

SEE ALSO: Arkansas Proposed Stand Your Ground Law ‘On Hold’ Until 2021

The legislation now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine. After the 2019 massacre in Dayton that left nine people dead, DeWine pushed for a number of gun control policies, including bolstering the background check system, toughening laws against people who possess guns illegally, and instituting confiscatory “red flag” laws.

None of DeWine’s reforms survived this legislative session, and while he hasn’t said whether he’d veto the new “stand your ground” provision, he has said publicly that the legislature should not move to expand gun rights this year.

At least 25 states do not require retreat before shooting in self-defense, according to a May research brief from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Commonsense January 3, 2021, 4:07 am

    Only in America are white male looking for easier ways to kill and not answer for their actions. The police have murder card blanche when at one time they would be satisfied to work someone over with their clubs. Now the first thing they do is shoot to kill. How times have changed. I’ve been a gun owner over 60 years and it really pisses me off to forced by immature white males(no such thing as white men” anymore”) push the ignorant views to murder on all of us. Maybe it’s your generation of playing computer war games that have turned you into murdering thugs. The gun lobby bares a lot of the blame, violent movies bare a lot of blame, crooked politicians who take blood money from the gun industry. The posters on this website would have you believe that you can’t even walk outside without being assaulted. But the truth is they ALWAYS throw out that false narrative to justify shooting. Good job Governor and continue the fight for common sense.

  • Gerry Rhoades December 31, 2020, 11:23 am

    Stay the fuck off other peoples property and dont be a criminal. Come after me and you will get laid out

  • D.J. December 29, 2020, 9:07 am

    NOPE !!!!!

    The Emperor DeWine & his communist ” handlers ” have vetoed
    said measure .
    Just viewing the above image in the article , will give the nation
    a good idea of his ( lack ) of mental stability .
    Having lived in Ohio for over fifty years , I have seen quite a few
    Chief Exec.’s of the state . This one , dear readers , is clearly unstable ,
    and well beyond unhinged .

  • Click Bang December 25, 2020, 7:41 am

    Lindsay Wissman and MomsDemand want people to leave their children unprotected and vulnerable to murder, rape, and mayhem….. That does not sound like a real caring mother to me…
    Just sounds like a sick and twisted imitation parent that was allowed to breed with relatives….
    A real parent would defend their children to death….

  • Charles F December 25, 2020, 7:04 am

    Nothing will stop a zealot prosecuting attorney from imposing “living hell” on a citizen in Ohio with the existing word salad the State legislature has saddled their constituency with.

  • SuperG December 22, 2020, 12:58 pm

    Elizabeth Banks was failed by her parents. They should have taught her to have respect for the private property of other people. You do not get to trespass just because you are playing.

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