In the spirit of getting things done, especially given the current climate, lawmakers in Ohio are trying to fast-track a bill that would give residents of Ohio the right to stand their ground in the face of a life-threatening attack.
“Senate Bill 383 would eliminate the duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another person or defense of certain property. The change would expand the places someone could fire a gun from his home and vehicle to anywhere he has a legal right to be.
Prosecutors’ would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooter did not act in self-defense to convict that person.”
This is a welcome development for more than one reason. Ohio is currently one of nearly two dozen states with a castle doctrine law, meaning you aren’t legally required to retreat from a threat in your own home – or vehicle – but can legally defend your life. But up until now, however, Ohio residents have been required to retreat from threats while they’re out and about.
The stand-your-ground bill hasn’t passed yet, of course, but odds are it will. Here’s what Ohio Democrats have to say about what will happen if it passes:
“House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, said the bill was disrespectful to the people of Dayton, where a 24-year-old shooter killed nine people and injured 17 others in August 2019. They wanted ‘common sense’ gun safety legislation, she said.
‘It is deadly,’ Sykes said of the proposal. ‘It makes especially black and brown communities unsafe and feel unsafe.’”
“Sen. Cecil Thomas…contended that the change isn’t needed. Few, if any, Ohioans are being prosecuted for not fleeing before shooting in self-defense.”
Good to know. Did anyone ask Senator Thomas how many Ohioans have been assaulted, raped, maimed, or murdered while attempting to flee an attacker? Anyone?
Hopefully this bill gets through with some speed. The question then will be whether Ohio’s linquini-spined governor Mike DeWine will sign it into law.
Does your state have a stand your ground law or are you required to retreat in the face of a threat? Do you even know?