Ohio Senate Strips "Stand Your Ground" Language Out Of "Stand Your Ground" Bill

Dec 6, 2018

The controversial legislation no longer includes an elimination of the "duty to retreat" for people who find themselves in threatening situations. Opponents argued that removing that language from Ohio code would make it for people to use lethal force in self-defense.

The changes made to HB228 means it no longer has the language usually associated with a "Stand Your Ground" bill. Instead, the bill primarily focuses on other parts of self-defense law, including a shift of the burden of proof from the defense to the prosecution in such cases.

While the legislation is now longer a “Stand Your Ground” bill, Moms Demand Action's Richele O’Connor still has her reservations.

“There are other things in this law that still do not make us safe,” O'Connor says.

Chris Dorr, with Ohio Gun Owners, was a big supporter of “Stand Your Ground.” 

"Our members and our supporters are looking at this thing as a big 'nothing burger' now," says Dorr. “In states where the burden of proof is already on the prosecution to disprove a self-defense claim, gun owners already sit in jail so this idea that we’ve switched that over is a huge get for gun owners, it’s not."

When asked why the duty to retreat was not eliminated through this bill, Sen. Bill Coley (R-West Chester) suggested that its backers may not have had enough support to enact it. He may have been referencing the ability to override a governor’s veto. 

The bill now goes back to the House, where representatives must agree with the changes for it to go on Gov. John Kasich. He has said he’d veto any bill with “Stand Your Ground” language in it.