The bill includes language that people have no duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense, so long as they’re in a place where they have a right to be.
Under current Ohio law, residents have no duty to retreat only when they are in their homes or cars, a so-called “castle doctrine.”
Speakers compared the new legislation to Florida’s “stand your ground” law, spotlighted after George Zimmermann killed seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin.
“With tragedies like the shooting of Trayvon Martin fresh in our memories, we need to stop Stand Your Ground legislation before it claims the lives of innocent children in our state,” said Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo).
Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati), who heads the Legislative Black Caucus, said Ohio already has strong self-defense laws on the books. “Stand Your Ground would do nothing but turn our state into the Wild, Wild West,” she said.
Rep. Matt Lynch (R-Chagrin Falls), who is co-sponsoring House Bill 203, said in an August editorial that opponents of the bill are trying to capitalize on the many recent mass shoot murders to “advance an anti-gun agenda.”
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