Lawmakers are preparing to hold more hearings on a bill that makes it easier to use lethal force as self-defense in a threatening situation, but Gov. Mike DeWine is calling on the legislature to prioritize another bill before "Stand Your Ground."
There are two bills in the legislature that implements what's commonly known as the "Stand Your Ground" law. One in the Senate, SB237, and another in the House, HB381, which has "Stand Your Ground" in the title of the bill.
DeWine has said he supports "Stand Your Ground" but he wants lawmakers to turn their attention to his "STRONG Ohio" bill, SB221, which creates a private sales background check and increases the ability to institutionalize someone deemed to be a threat to themselves.
"I think we should focus on our STRONG Ohio legislation. We put a lot of work into that. The legislature has already started hearings on that," says DeWine.
Supporters of "Stand Your Ground" say removing the "duty to retreat" will allow people to protect themselves in dangerous situations in public. Critics fear it can increase gun deaths.
STRONG Ohio’s sponsor, Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), has said he hopes “Stand Your Ground” will not be folded into his bill. The Senate committee chair says he plans to hold more hearings on both bills in the near future.