Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine backed off from his previous threats to veto the “Stand Your Ground” law passed on December 18, 2020. Under the new law, armed citizens will no longer be held liable for failing to retreat and defending themselves against potential attackers.
The governor hinted that he would veto the bill by reminding the legislators that they should first focus on the “bills we sent them” instead of passing new measures. Additionally, he ignored the proposal while signing other measures simultaneously passed in the legislature.
“I look forward to working with members of the legislature in the future to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and to protect the rights of citizens who follow the law,” DeWine said.
For months, DeWine accused the Republican-dominated legislature of ignoring his “Strong Ohio” proposals that he believed would make Ohio safe.
DeWine’s proposal included the expanded background checks for firearm purchases that would lock out many law-abiding citizens from acquiring guns while doing nothing to stop criminals.
Democrats expressed grave disappointment after the governor approved SB175. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat and DeWine’s ally, accused the governor of bowing to pressure from his party.
“Gov. DeWine has made clear that he opposes this dangerous policy, but once again folded to the extreme elements in his own party,” Mayor Whaley’s statement shared on Twitter read. “'Stand Your Ground' will make Ohio less safe – full stop. Our state needs principled leaders who will stand up for what is right - not what is politically easy.”
Ohio House Minority leader Emilia Strong Sykes said that "Only cowards would pass and sign a bill that has been proven to disproportionately harm Black people."
However, the Buckeye Firearms Association lauded the governor for keeping his promise to “repeal the law that forces victims of violent crime to retreat before they’re legally able to defend themselves.”
“As a candidate for governor, then-Attorney General Mike DeWine promised Ohio's 4 million gun owners that he would sign legislation to repeal the state's unjust duty to retreat law,” the group’s statement read. “On Monday, January 4th, 2021, Governor DeWine fulfilled that commitment by signing Senate Bill 175.”
Rep. Kyle Koehler also praised the measure saying that it would “protect law-abiding gun owners.” One month earlier, Rep. Koehler said that “My right to defend myself from serious bodily harm or death does not change just because I am outside the walls of my home.”
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