COLUMBUS — Ohio’s new “stand your ground” gun law which expands situations where a person can use deadly force in self-defense went into effect Tuesday.
>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: ‘Stand your ground’ law expanded as DeWine signs bill into law
Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law in January which made the state the 36th in the nation to no longer require people to retreat before they can justifiably hurt or kill someone with a gun in self-defense.
Previously the law allowed a person to use deadly force in self-defense, so long as they aren’t the aggressor, believe they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and are in their home or vehicle. But the new law dropped the home and vehicle parameters, which could potentially allow a person to use deadly force in public areas if they felt they were in danger.
The bill passed both houses of the state legislature and was signed by DeWine, despite his objections and requests for the General Assembly to pass gun control legislation in the wake of the 2019 Oregon District mass shooting.
DeWine’s proposals had sought to toughen background checks and boost penalties for felons committing new crimes with guns.
“I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation,” DeWine said in a statement after signing the bill in January.
“I am very disappointed, however, that the legislature did not include in this bill the essential provisions that I proposed to make it harder for dangerous criminals to illegally possess and use guns,” DeWine said.
“Right now, the national and state background check systems are sometimes missing vital information – things such as convictions, active protection orders, and open warrants – that alert law enforcement if they’re dealing with a wanted or potentially dangerous individual,” DeWine said.
Republican lawmakers and National Rifle Association leaders widely praised the bill’s passage while others, including Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Police Chief Richard Biehl, opposed it and initially asked for DeWine to veto the legislation.
“This bill ensures that victims are protected should they ever need to defend themselves or others,” John Weber, Ohio state director for NRA-ILA said after the bill’s passage.
“We need the Ohio legislature to pay attention to what the vast majority of Ohioans say, that we want common sense gun legislation,” Whaley said during a Dec. 2020 news conference. “Not extreme laws, not stand your ground.”
Reporting from WBNS-TV contributed to this story.