Ohio Gov Signs Self-Defense Rights Bill into Law, Scrapping 'Duty to Retreat'
Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed 'Stand Your Ground' legislation into state law
Ohio's Republican governor has signed a new bill into law to boost citizens' self-defense rights by scrapping their "duty to retreat."
Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed the “Stand Your Ground” legislation into state law on Monday.
The bill DeWine signed, Senate Bill 175, is designed to remove Ohioans' “duty to retreat” while defending themselves.
Previously, the law required people to retreat before they can justifiably hurt or kill someone in self-defense or in a situation where they fear their lives are endangered.
Senate Bill 175 was fast-tracked through the Ohio General Assembly last month by DeWine’s fellow Republicans.
DeWine’s signature makes Ohio the 36th state with no duty to retreat, Cleveland.com notes.
Upon signing the law DeWine released a statement celebrating Americans' rights to defend themselves.
“I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation,” the governor said.
BREAKING NEWS: Ohio @GovMikeDeWine Signs Law Abolishing Duty to Retreat, Protecting Ohioans’ Self-Defense Rights— NRA (@NRA) January 4, 2021
In 2005, Florida became the first state to adopt a Stand Your Ground law, according to Breitbart.
Since then, research has shown such laws benefit minorities.
On September 9, 2016, Breitbart reported data from John Lott’s book, The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies,” which showed Florida’s Stand Your Ground law benefited black people more than white people.
Lott explained: “From 2005 through October 1, 2014, blacks made up 16.7 percent of Florida’s population and 34 percent of the defendants who invoked Stand Your Ground.
"Black defendants who invoke this statute are actually acquitted four percentage points more frequently that whites who use this very same defense.”
Until now, under Ohio law, people have been justified in using deadly force in self-defense so long as they aren’t the aggressor, believe they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, and are in their home or vehicle.
The new law, which takes effect in 90 days, removes the “home or vehicle” requirement and instead states that the defendant need only be in a place where they lawfully have the right to be.
Proponents of the measure say it gives law-abiding citizens the right to protect themselves.
“Crimes can happen quickly and without warning. Most victims have a split second to react with the best course of action for their survival,” said John Weber, Ohio state director for the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, in a statement.
“By signing SB 175, Gov. DeWine ensures the law favors victims and not criminals.”
But Democrats have sharply criticized the bill, claiming that it would result in more violence and death.