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Ohio's 'stand your ground' law takes effect Tuesday

Posted at 7:57 AM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 07:57:15-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s “stand your ground law” goes into effect Tuesday. It’s a law that was passed by Republicans in December that takes away the legal requirement that people try to retreat from a situation before firing their weapon.

The new law not only expands where the castle doctrine applies, it also changes the way Stand Your Ground cases are handled in court. Previously, the defense had to prove someone was acting in self-defense. Now, it's up to the state to prove that it wasn't.

Originally, DeWine threatened to veto the bill. Despite signing it into law, DeWine chastised the Republican-led legislature for parts of the new gun law saying, "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."

Danielle Sydnor with the Cleveland NAACP said this bill does not make our state safer.

"When individuals have the right to say, 'Oh, I was in fear for my life and I had no other choice but to use deadly force,' people go to that as their first first course of action," she said. "If we want Ohio to be welcoming, if we want to move our economy forward, we have to have a place that people can feel safe and in a state where you can shoot first and ask questions later, nobody should feel safe," she said.

Ayesha Bell Hardaway with Case Western Reserve University said that this bill allows people to pull the trigger based on subjective fear, and that is when bias can come into play.

"The research shows that white on black shootings were found to be justified in states with Stand Your Ground laws," she said. "I think is is really is it is a dangerous game that we're playing here with people's lives."

RELATED: Expanded 'Stand Your Ground' law taking effect April 6 places burden on state to disprove self-defense

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