Nearly 40 lawmakers are signed on as sponsors of a “stand your ground” bill that would remove the duty to retreat from a threat. House Bill 228 would re-work Ohio’s self-defense laws and reduce requirements faced by CCW holders, such as keeping their hands in plain sight during traffic stops.
“This would be a huge threat to public safety and peace of mind, particularly for men of color who are often impacted by these kinds of stand your ground laws,” said Jennifer Thorne, executive director of Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. Thorne argues that a stand your ground law would embolden people to embark on vigilante justice and shoot first, ask questions later.
Meanwhile, Ohioans for Concealed Carry spokesman Jim Irvine bristles at calling it “stand your ground” legislation. “Some people may call it that. It’s an inappropriate label,” he said.
Ohioans have the right to fight a threat in their home or car but elsewhere they face a legal duty to retreat, if possible. Irvine said the vast majority of people won’t use deadly force. “It goes against our grain and against who we are.”