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Gov. DeWine signs bill that expands Ohio ‘stand your ground’ law

Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 7:23 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill Monday that expands incidents in which a person can defend themselves under a “stand your ground” law.

Senate Bill 175 states it’s no longer necessary to prove a gun owner considered the possibility of retreat before using force, so long as they “reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent injury, loss, or risk to life or safety.”

The bill also eliminates the requirement that a person be in their home or vehicle in order to stand their ground; the new law applies wherever a gun owner has the legal right to be.

Gov. DeWine said the bill “removes the ambiguity” in state self-defense law.

“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,” DeWine said in a statement.

Opponents of SB 175 said they’re worried about the bill’s impacts on people of color, who are often perceived as a threat.

Ohio House of Representatives Minority Leader Emilia Sykes wrote on Twitter “only cowards would pass and sign a bill that has been proven to disproportionately harm Black people.”

Gov. DeWine initially threatened to veto the law after state lawmakers failed to pass what he called “common-sense” guns laws.

“I am very disappointed that the legislature did not include in this bill the essential provisions that I proposed to make it harder for dangerous criminals to illegally possess and use guns,” DeWine said.

Among those gun-control provisions Gov. DeWine supported are expanding background checks and strengthening penalties for criminals who possess, buy or sell guns.

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