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OH – HOME DEFENSE – Senate committee passes ‘stand your ground’ bill as lame duck deadline approaches

Republicans voted Wednesday night to send a bill to the Ohio Senate floor that would expand the right to shoot to kill in perceived self-defense in Ohio. Senate Bill 383 passed on a party line vote just around 8:15 p.m. It says a person has no “duty to retreat” before using lethal force if he or she “reasonably believed” the force was necessary to prevent death or injury. By current law, Ohioans have no duty to retreat to perceived threats in their home or vehicle. SB 383 expands this to any place a person is lawfully present. Under the bill, often referred to as “stand your ground,” Ohioans who can evade a threatening situation no longer need to do so before choosing to shoot in self-defense. If a person shoots someone and claims self-defense, SB 383 says a court cannot consider the possibility of retreat in determining whether that person used force in self-defense. After fielding opposition testimony from anti-gun violence activists, a college professor and the son of one of the nine dead victim of the 2019 Dayton shooting, Republicans voted to pass the bill with little fanfare. Democrats tried to load the bill with amendments anti-gun violence activists have sought for years including closing the “gun show loophole” that allows private firearm sales without background checks at gun shows, raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21, and others. All the amendments were voted down along party lines. “Ohio doesn’t need this,” said Sen. Teresa Fedor, D-Toldeo, shortly before the vote. “It’s not necessary, especially after the Dayton shooting. People chanted, ‘Do more. Do something.’ This isn’t the something they’re talking about.” Sen. Cecil Thomas said the legislation will create a “shoot-first” mentality. “This will inevitably lead to more deadly confrontations and deaths,” he said. The bill would need to pass both the Senate and House (which is considering similar legislation) before heading to Gov. Mike DeWine for a signature or veto.  [full article]

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