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

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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 prooffrom 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.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

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.