A quarter of the Ohio House, all Republicans, have signed on to a new “Stand Your Ground” self-defense bill introduced last week.
That’s setting up suggestions that the measure could be part of a compromise to pass the gun violence plan backed by Gov. Mike DeWine following the mass shooting in Dayton.
The “Stand Your Ground” bill eliminates the duty to retreat before using deadly force in a public place. It’s expected that at least a dozen House Republicans are opposed to changes in gun laws, while all but one House Republican voted for the “Stand Your Ground” bill last year.
The bill was dramatically changed after a veto threat from then-Gov. John Kasich. He vetoed it anyway, and lawmakers overrode him. Many Republicans have wanted to try to pass it again.
DeWine's "STRONG Ohio" bill will start in the Senate, where it's expected to get a better reception than in the House. With 24 Republicans already signed on to "Stand Your Ground," it seems possible that it could be combined with DeWine's bill to get it passed.
DeWine said he’d rather his bill be passed without an changes.
“We hope that it can remain intact," DeWine said. "We have confidence in the General Assembly, once they really look at it and dig down deep into what it does, will feel good about it and will pass it."
DeWine has said he supports "Stand Your Ground," but wants his bill considered as it's written.
Sponsoring state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) said he wants that too, and has said in the aftermath of the Dayton shooting, he thinks introducing “Stand Your Ground” right now is “tone deaf.”
However, one of the bill's sponsors, state Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown), said every single gun bill needs to be looked at carefully and closely.
While Republicans may be split over "STRONG Ohio," Democrats have expressed reservations about it too. Not one Democrat voted for "Stand Your Ground" when it was on the House floor last year.