State Watch

Ohio governor signs 'stand your ground' bill into law

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a wide-ranging stand-your-ground measure into law on Monday.

The Ohio Dispatch reports that S.B. 175 allows Ohio residents to defend themselves with a firearm anywhere they have a legal right to be, potentially including businesses and public spaces.

An original version of the legislation granted civil immunity to places of worship and nonprofits when shootings in self-defense occur on their property. The Dispatch reported that the bill was expanded to state clearly that Ohioans can fire a gun in self-defense anywhere they are legally allowed to be.

The bill's signing in to law comes just over a year after DeWine announced a push for gun control measures including expanded background checks following a mass shooting in Dayton, a push the state legislature largely refused to take up.

In a statement to the Dispatch, DeWine said that he hoped his action Monday would inspire cooperation with the GOP-controlled state legislature on firearm control legislation.

"Everyone who cares about these issues knows that the provisions I am requesting in no way infringe upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms," he said. "They know what I am asking for is to make it harder for guns to get into the hands of criminals. These provisions will save lives. These provisions need to become law."

"In the spirit of cooperation with the General Assembly, I have signed Senate Bill 175. I look forward to working with members of the legislature in the future to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and to protect the rights of citizens who follow the law," he reportedly added.

The signing of the bill Monday was celebrated by gun rights groups including the National Rifle Association (NRA) Institute for Legislative Action.

"Crimes can happen quickly and without warning. Most victims have a split second to react with the best course of action for their survival. By signing SB 175, Gov. DeWine ensures the law favors victims and not criminals. We look forward to working with the governor in the future to advance the interests of law-abiding Ohioans," said an NRA spokesperson.

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