Last night, just before midnight, the Ohio State House snuck Stand Your Ground language onto another bill and passed it in the cover of night. The bill heads to the Senate, where it is expected to receive a vote today.
“We do not want Stand Your Ground in Ohio. That’s why hundreds of Ohioans have testified against it, mayors have spoken out, law enforcement has directly opposed it, and the Governor has threatened to veto it. It’s also why lawmakers snuck the bill through the House in the cover of night at the end of the lame duck session. We are asking the governor to commit to vetoing Stand Your Ground — for the sake of public safety and the families and communities he promised to protect from gun violence.” – Kristine Woodworth, volunteer with Ohio Moms Demand Action.
Four reasons Gov. DeWine should veto Stand Your Ground:
Constituents, mayors, chiefs of police, and civil rights advocates oppose Stand Your Ground. The people most impacted by gun violence and the leaders and law enforcement on the front lines of Ohio’s gun violence crisis have made their opposition clear.
- Ohioans, Moms Demand Action volunteers, and gun sense supporters have made over 650 calls and sent over 1,200 emails to lawmakers during the lame duck session alone asking them to oppose Stand Your Ground and other efforts to weaken Ohio’s gun laws.
- Over 550 Ohioans submitted testimony in opposition to the bills
- Six Ohio mayors penned an Op-Ed voicing their opposition
- Six Police chiefs from across the state wrote a letter urging lawmakers not to pass Stand Your Ground or SB 317, a bill to strip training requirements for teachers and staff carrying guns at school.
Stand Your Ground encourages violence as cities already grapple with record gun violence rates across the state.
- In the year since the Dayton shooting, it is estimated that over 1500 people have been shot and killed in Ohio.
- Homicide with a firearm has increased by 27% for the first six months of 2020 in Ohio — and certain cities, including Cincinnati, Akron, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Cleveland have collectively seen a 17% increase in violent crimes with a firearm. And gun violence in the state disproportionately impacts Black communities.
- Stand Your Ground is associated with an increase in homicides and does not deter crime.
Black people in Ohio are disproportionately killed by gun violence — Stand Your Ground would exacerbate this and help white shooters get away with murder.
- 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.
- Controlling for other factors—such as who initiated the confrontation and whether or not the victim was armed—Florida Stand Your Ground cases with minority victims are half as likely to lead to conviction, compared to cases with white victims.
Stand Your Ground would upend traditional self-defense law, which already protects people in imminent danger with no other option, by allowing a person to shoot to kill another person in public even when they can clearly and safely walk away from the danger.
- Stand Your Ground laws encourage the escalation of violence in avoidable situations and armed vigilantism.
- Traditional self-defense does not require that a person retreat from a situation if doing so would put them in danger. It only requires a person to avoid killing another person if there is a clear and safe way to do so.
- In this way, traditional law respects both a person’s right to self-defense and the sanctity of human life. It recognizes that it is always better to avoid taking a life if there is a safe and clear alternative.
- Stand Your Ground laws upend traditional self-defense by allowing people to shoot to kill in public, even when they can safely walk away from the danger.