COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine signed a “Stand Your Ground” bill Monday after indicating last month that he might veto it.
Previously, Ohio law required someone to first attempt to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense any place that is not their vehicle or home. The bill removed the words “vehicle” and “home,” and instead, people will have no duty to retreat as long as they are legally allowed somewhere.
“While campaigning for governor, I expressed my support for removing the ambiguity in Ohio’s self-defense law, and Senate Bill 175 accomplishes this goal,” DeWine said in a statement.
DeWine said what bothered him about the bill wasn’t what it included but rather what it didn’t include: provisions that would make it harder for “dangerous criminals to illegally possess and use guns” and increased penalties for those who do. Late last year, DeWine had repeatedly set aside time during his regular coronavirus briefings to discuss gun violence and ask that the legislature to address it.
“National and state background check systems are sometimes missing vital information – things such as convictions, active protection orders, and open warrants,” DeWine said in the statement. “Requiring the submission of this important information into the background check systems is a common-sense reform that I will continue to pursue.”
Opponents of the bill, like Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, believe it will only make Ohio less safe.
“I can’t express my level of disappointment. Gov. DeWine came to [Dayton] and stood on stage for a vigil for our murdered friends and neighbors, and then told us he stood with our community in our fight against gun violence. Now it seems he does not,” Whaley said.
DeWine said he will continue to push reforms that do not infringe on Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
“Everyone who cares about these issues knows that the provisions I am requesting in no way infringe upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms,” DeWine said. “They know what I am asking for is to make it harder for guns to get into the hands of criminals.”