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Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley Calls For Ohio Lawmakers To Reject 'Stand Your Ground'

Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley speaks to members of the media Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, outside Ned Peppers bar in the Oregon District after a mass shooting that occurred early Sunday morning in Dayton
John Minchillo
Associated Press

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley wants Ohio lawmakers to shelve a bill that would remove restrictions for using lethal force in self-defense. The so-called "Stand Your Ground" bill, SB383, is moving its way through the legislature with the chance of passing before the month's end.

Whaley says the mass shooting in her city last year, which left nine victims dead and many others wounded, is a reminder of the prevalence of gun violence. She says removing the requirement for a person to try to find a way out before pulling a gun on someone in self-defense sends a dangerous message and creates a societal norm for violence. 

"That's the kind of stuff we're talking about when we are just permeated by guns in our community, that's the challenge that's underway and that's why the data shows that it increases gun violence," Whaley says.

Supporters of the bill say the "duty to retreat" creates confusion for people in dangerous situations, while opponents say it’s prejudiced against people of color. 

Whaley says, if the legislature does pass the provision, then she and other Dayton leaders are calling on Gov. Mike DeWine to veto the bill. In the past, DeWine said he supported "Stand Your Ground," but after the Dayton shooting had asked lawmakers to consider "common sense" gun restrictionsinstead.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.