COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – For the first time this year, lawmakers in the Ohio Senate are looking at a bill that would remove your duty to retreat when facing a threat to your life — before using deadly force.
State Senator Terry Johnson claims his bill is not about being a cowboy in the streets — he says it simply allows you to stop certain crimes you see happening in the streets.
“They talk about all kinds of hypothetical situations. The situation I’m talking about is very real,” he said.
Here’s his situation and how his bill would apply:
“You’re walking down the street with a companion and you stop to look at something, talk to somebody, your companion goes on a few steps and then you look back up and you see someone approaching your companion with a knife; and they’ve got the knife back like this and your companion’s like this; you not only have the ability to defend yourself you could save her life.”
But what if you are mistaken and it isn’t a knife, it’s a cellphone, or a prank, and you shoot and kill that person?
“If you’re wrong, you’re wrong and you’re going to pay the price for it,” said Sen. Johnson.
And if it really is a knife…
“If you’re right and you don’t do it, someone’s dead.”
Moms Demand Action have not officially come out against this bill yet, but they did oppose his bill last year.
“Legislature by anecdote is something that we don’t engage in, we look at the statistics and the research and the data,” says Richele O’Connor.
They say that data shows them one thing.
“Stand your ground laws are not effective,” said O’Connor.
Senate President Obhof supports this bill — it was introduced last week and was given its first hearing Wednesday. Senator Johnson says he doesn’t know if the bill will get fast tracked.Grab the FREE WDTN News App from the Apple Store or Google play. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen.