State Lawmakers Begin Hearings On "Stand Your Ground"

Nov 20, 2019

Senator Terry Johnson gives testimony for his bill
Credit Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Senate lawmakers have held the first hearing on a bill that would remove what's known as the "duty to retreat" in public before shooting someone in self-defense.

This law is commonly referred to as the "Stand Your Ground" bill. At the heart of the debate is whether the law would increase or decrease safety. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.  

Republican Senator Terry Johnson told a Senate committee during a the first hearing of his bill that it keeps the main prongs of self-defense: that an aggressor must display "means, intent, and opportunity" to do harm, before someone takes action to protect themselves.


"If someone attacks you and they're going to try to kill you and you make a reasonable assumption that that person's trying to kill you then you already have the rights to self-defense so that's already in law. What I'm saying is, you don't also have to run away."


But opponents express concern that this could increase gun deaths in Ohio. Senate Democrats argued that passing the bill could discourage people from finding ways to de-escalate tense situations.