For Immediate Release – Columbus, Ohio, January 04, 2021 – A coalition of Ohio-based and national advocacy organizations decried Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s signing of a dangerous ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill into law. This bill was signed by Governor DeWine at the end of the lame duck session after being considered and strongly opposed for a full year. The legislation, falsely masked as a bill concerning a ‘duty to retreat’ in self-defense, is the same policy that has increased violence in states across the country and has disproportionately affected communities of color. Gov. DeWine has failed the people of Ohio in signing this bill to become law.
The #StandWithOhio Coalition shared:
“Despite the objections from Ohioans, from law enforcement, and from mayors and elected officials across the state, Gov. DeWine has caved to the interests of a fringe minority of lawmakers beholden to the gun lobby and allowed a dangerous ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill to become law in Ohio. There is no debate over this bill and these policies: Stand Your Ground laws make communities less safe. They increase violence and homicides and are more likely to be used to legally ‘justify’ the murder of people of color. Ohio has seen record gun violence this year, just one year after the mass shooting in Dayton shocked the nation. Gov. DeWine understands this reality. It is why he asked for gun violence prevention fixes and specifically stated that this bill was not among them.
The #StandWithOhio Coalition is incredibly disappointed to see Gov. DeWine prioritize the gun lobby’s interests over the safety of his state. Ohioans will remember the legislature and the Governor’s actions as the state continues to battle gun violence.”
About Stand Your Ground Laws:
Beginning with Florida in 2005, a number of states enacted Stand Your Ground laws which fundamentally altered the law of self-defense. Traditionally, the law of self-defense put a premium on protecting life; the law imposed on private citizens a duty to try, if possible, to retreat from a dangerous confrontation prior to deploying lethal force in self-defense, with a narrow exception for confrontations occurring in their homes under the ‘castle doctrine.’ Stand Your Ground laws limit this duty to retreat even in contexts outside of the home.
Stand Your Ground laws threaten everyone’s safety, particularly Black Americans. These laws embolden racially-motivated vigilantism, undermine public safety, and encourage individuals to believe that, even if they could avoid a lethal confrontation, they can kill someone and later claim self-defense to avoid being held responsible.
Fast Facts About Stand Your Ground Laws:
- Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that FL’s implementation of its Stand Your Ground law led to a 24.4% increase in homicides overall and a 32% increase in firearm-related homicides specifically.
- The American Bar Association found that interracial homicides spiked in the states that had Stand Your Ground laws.
- A study of data from 23 states with Stand Your Ground laws found that white homicide defendants with Black victims were 12 times more likely to have Stand Your Ground ruled in their favor than Black defendants whose victims were white.
About Recent Coalition Polling in Ohio:
New polling commissioned in November by the gun violence prevention organizations Brady, Giffords and the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence showed that an overwhelming majority of Ohio voters support life-saving policies such as extreme risk protection orders and requiring carry permits, not policies like Stand Your Ground that encourage more violence. The #StandWithOhio Coalition recently highlighted statewide support for common-sense gun safety reforms.
The poll found that:
- More than 60 percent of Ohio voters oppose a change in Ohio law that would allow Ohioans to carry a concealed loaded gun in public places without a license.
- 74 percent of Ohio voters support an extreme risk law that would allow family members and/or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove guns from individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others.
- Extreme risk protection orders are supported by 69 percent of Ohio Republicans and 61 percent of Ohioans who voted for President Trump in 2016.
- Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence
- States United to Prevent Gun Violence
- Amnesty International USA
- Brady and Brady Ohio
- The Community Justice Action Fund (CJAF)
- The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV)
- March for Our Lives Ohio
- Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action