Ohio "Stand Your Ground" Sponsor Concerned About Armed March This Weekend
The Republican lawmaker who proposed removing from state law the duty to retreat before using deadly force in a public place says he’s concerned about an armed march planned on the Statehouse this weekend.
It was Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) who added the removal of the duty to retreat to a Senate bill to create the so-called “stand your ground” law Gov. Mike DeWine signed last week.
Armed marches are planned on state capitols this weekend, and some reports indicate Columbus could be a specific target of violence.
Koehler admitted he’s concerned.
“I think it's the wrong time to do this if the tensions are going to be high," Koehler said. "Obviously, people from just this past week - I think people from both groups were here, both sides of this argument. It is not a good time to be doing this. It's just not necessary.”
There was a pro-Trump protest at the Statehouse on January 6, as Congress was meeting to certify President-Elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win. The protest went on for a few hours and was violent at times.
The Statehouse bans weapons inside but allows them on the grounds outside.
Koehler notes a 2009 Tea Party march in Washington D.C. that included armed participants was peaceful, but he admits he doesn’t know what could happen this weekend.
"I just think this is not the time, not the place," Koehler said.