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Ohio Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statement on Ohio Senate Committee Advancing Stand Your Ground

December 10, 2020

The Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee passed SB 383, a bill to establish Stand Your Ground in Ohio. The bill passed committee on a party line vote and is expected to receive a vote in the full Senate next week despite research showing that Stand Your Ground laws exacerbate gun violence, and fierce opposition from constituents, police chiefs, and mayors across the state. 

The bill would upend traditional self-defense law in Ohio and allow a person to shoot to kill in public, even when there is a clear and safe alternative. It’s a policy known for helping white shooters avoid criminal prosecution and putting Black people at further risk of gun violence. This year, in Georgia, where Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed while jogging down the street, a prosecutor on Arbery’s case pointed to Georgia’s Stand Your Ground law as one of the reasons he refused to pursue charges against the shooters. 

“For good reason, this bill has drawn fierce opposition from everyone from police chiefs to mayors,” Shela Blanchard, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Gun violence is reaching record highs in cities across our state and disproportionately killing Black Ohioans. Why are lawmakers approving a policy that is proven to increase gun violence and put Black people at even higher risk of gun violence?”

Stand Your Ground laws are associated with an increase in firearm homicides and injuries, and do not deter crime. At least 30 people nationwide are killed each month as a result of Stand Your Ground laws. 

Stand Your Ground laws also disproportionately impact communities of color. The policy is known for helping white shooters avoid criminal prosecution and putting Black people at further risk of gun violence. When white shooters kill Black victims, the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable 11 times more frequently than when the shooter is Black and the victim is white.

More information about the risks of Stand Your Ground policies are available here. Statistics about gun violence in Ohio are available here, and information on how Ohio’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here.

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