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DeWine Hopes "Stand Your Ground" Not Part Of Compromise To Pass His Gun Violence Bill

Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled his STRONG Ohio plan in front of law enforcement, mental health professionals and state officials in October.
Daniel Konik
Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled his STRONG Ohio plan in front of law enforcement, mental health professionals and state officials in October.

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 it 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, but 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. But 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 tham 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. But DeWine said he’d rather his bill be passed as is,

“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 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”. But one of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown) said, "Every single gun bill that we have needs to be looked at carefully and closely."

While Republicans may be split over "STRONG Ohio", Democrats have expressed reservations about it too.  But not one Democrat voted for "Stand Your Ground" when it was on the House floor last year.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.