Republican lawmakers are looking to make Ohio the 25th “Stand Your Ground” state.
Introduced by Sen. Joe Uecker, R-Miami Township, Senate Bill 180 would see a shift in the burden of proof in a self-defense shooting. At the moment, Ohio requires the survivor to prove a self-defense claim. The bill would put the burden of proof on the state and not the defendant.
Senate Bill 180 would also expand upon circumstances “under which a person has no duty to retreat,” according to documents from the Ohio Legislature. This is also known as “Stand Your Ground” law.
Currently, Ohio abides by Castile Doctrine, in which an individual can act in self-defense if attacked in their home or vehicle.
The bill is explained by the Ohio Legislature as follows:
- Shifts to the state the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person charged with an offense that involved the use of force against another did not use that force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence.
- Expands circumstances under which a person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of the person’s residence.
- Reduces certain concealed handgun offenses to minor misdemeanors in circumstances where the offender does not commit a separate offense while carrying the concealed handgun.
- Eliminates the mandatory posting of signs that warn against the conveyance of a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance onto specified premises.
“The sad reality is that in cases of self-defense, law-abiding Ohioans are guilty until proven innocent,” Uecker said in a statement. “Only compounding the anxieties of such a life-or-death situation is the obligation to prove your own innocence if, God-forbid, you are forced to use a firearm to defend yourself or your family.”
Senate Bill 180, which is co-sponsored Sen. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, is headed to a Senate standing committee for further consideration.