Ohio gun rights could expand under so-called ‘stand your ground’ law


Ohio lawmakers are closer than ever to passing a so-called “stand your ground” bill that would expand gun rights by relaxing a person’s duty to retreat before using lethal force in self-defense. 

Supporters say the bill corrects unjust laws that force crime victims to make a decision between fighting or escaping an assailant, then makes survivors argue their self-defense decision in court instead of being presumed innocent. 

“You shouldn’t have to run and hide and wait for the person to kill you anyway,” said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones. 

Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, said he expects a floor vote on House Bill 228 this week before lawmakers leave Columbus on an extended break. If the bill passes, the measure will still need to clear the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate before surmounting a promised veto from Republican Gov. John Kasich. Overriding a veto requires a three-fifths majority vote in both the House and Senate before the legislative session ends in December.
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