Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a controversial gun bill into law on Monday which eliminates an individual’s duty to retreat before using force.
Senate Bill 175 expands the “stand your ground” right from an individual’s house and car to any place, “if that person is in a place in which the person lawfully has a right to be.”
DeWine hinted as recently as last month that he might veto the bill, criticizing the legislature for not including additional provisions to enhance background checks or other measures that would “make it harder for dangerous criminals to illegally possess and use guns.”
But on Monday, he signed the bill in what he called “spirit of cooperation” with the state legislature.
“I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation,” DeWine said in a written statement issued Monday afternoon. “While campaigning for Governor, I expressed my support for removing the ambiguity in Ohio’s self-defense law, and Senate Bill 175 accomplishes this goal. That is why I have signed this bill today.”
“I am very disappointed, however, that the legislature did not include in this bill the essential provisions that I proposed to make it harder for dangerous criminals to illegally possess and use guns,” the governor said.
The governor’s decision was met with sharp criticism from gun control advocates like Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
“I can’t express my level of disappointment,” Whaley said in a statement. “Gov. DeWine came to our city and stood on stage for a vigil for our murdered friends and neighbors, and then told us he stood with our community in our fight against gun violence. Now it seems he does not.”
“‘Stand your ground’ will make Ohio less safe — full stop. Our state needs principled leaders who will stand up for what is right — not what is politically easy,” Whaley added.
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