Ohio Republican Lawmakers Push For “Stand Your Ground” Law
By Travis Thayer
(Columbus, Oh.) – Ohio Republican lawmakers are drawing a line in the sand when it comes to gun owner rights.
Nearly 40 GOP lawmakers are signed on as sponsors of a “stand your ground” bill that would remove the duty to retreat from a threat.
Current law allows individuals to act in self-defense if someone attacks them in their home or vehicle, but this GOP proposal would take self-defense a step further, reports The Cincinnati Enquirer.
House Bill 228 would re-work Ohio’s self-defense laws and reduce requirements faced by concealed carry weapon holders, such as keeping their hands in plain sight during traffic stops.
The proposal would also:
- Force prosecutors to prove that individuals did not act in self-defense.
- Eliminate the requirement to post signs warning that guns are prohibited in certain locations.
- Reduce the penalty for illegally carrying a concealed handgun to a minor misdemeanor if it’s the only crime the person commits.
Democrats fear the proposal will be a huge threat to public safety and peace of mind, particularly for men of color who are often impacted by stand your ground type laws. Other Democrats say the GOP changes would make it nearly impossible to prosecute someone in a fatal shooting.
Previous attempts to pass a stand your ground law in Ohio have failed, but new lawmakers are said to be more supportive of gun rights – which could make the bill easier to pass.
If the bill does indeed become law, Ohio would be the 25th state to enact a stand your ground law.