Ohio ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Takes Effect Tuesday

State Senator Tim Schaffer


Senate Bill 175, which removes the duty to retreat in the event of a physical attack against a person or residence, will go into effect Tuesday.

“For purposes of determining the potential liability of a person in a tort action related to the person’s use of force alleged to be in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of the person’s residence, the person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence,” the text of the bill says.

Such laws are commonly called “Stand Your Ground” laws.

As of Tuesday, even lethal force may be used in self-defense without retreating.

Star News Education Foundation Journalism ProjectThe bill, sponsored by state Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), was passed by the Republican-controlled legislature in December, and signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on January 4.

“We are proud of the Governor’s decision to sign Senate Bill 175. This legislation will advance important protections for churches, synagogues, mosques and all other charitable organizations in our state, as well as protect all Ohioans’ Constitutional right to defend themselves from harm,” Schaffer said in a statement when the bill was signed into law. “The Constitutional protections in Senate Bill 175 affirm all law-abiding citizens’ right to self-defense only when confronted by an aggressor with deadly force—nothing more and nothing less. We thank the governor for signing the bill.”

DeWine took a lukewarm stance on the bill amid signing it into law.

“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,” he said. “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.”

But he thought it should have come with stricter gun control measures.

“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,” his statement continued.

“Right now, the national and state background check systems are sometimes missing vital information – things such as convictions, active protection orders, and open warrants – that alert law enforcement if they’re dealing with a wanted or potentially dangerous individual.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]




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