Ohio 'Stand Your Ground' Sponsor Concerned About Armed Protest At Statehouse

Jan 13, 2021

The Republican representative who proposed Ohio's "Stand Your Ground" law says he’s concerned about an armed march planned for the Statehouse this weekend.

It was state Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) who added to a Senate bill a measure removing the duty to retreat before using deadly force in a public place. Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law last week, despite calls from Democrats and gun reform advocates to veto it.

Armed marches are planned on state capitols this weekend, and some reports indicate Columbus could be a specific target of violence.

Koehler admitted he’s concerned.

“I think it's the wrong time to do this if the tensions are going to be high," Koehler said. "Obviously, people from just this past week – I think people from both groups were here, both sides of this argument. It is not a good time to be doing this. It's just not necessary.”

There was a pro-Trump protest at the Statehouse on January 6, as Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win. The protest went on for a few hours, and saw violence as Trump supporters attacked counter-protesters.

The Ohio Statehouse bans weapons inside but allows them on the grounds outside.

Koehler notes a 2009 Tea Party march in Washington D.C., which included armed participants, was peaceful, but he admits he doesn’t know what could happen this weekend.

"I just think this is not the time, not the place," Koehler said.