Bill would expand ‘stand your ground’


A bill that would expand "stand your ground"-like provisions in Ohio law is currently in
committee in the Ohio Senate.
House Bill 203 passed the Ohio House last year by a vote of 62-27, and is currently under consideration
in the Civil Justice Committee of the Senate.
The bill may be on its way out of committee in the coming weeks.
As passed by the House, the bill states "a person has no duty to retreat before using force in
self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, if that person is in a place
that the person lawfully has a right to be."
That change would remove language that specifically lists a person’s residence and a vehicle they own or
which is owned by an immediate family member as places from which they have no duty to retreat.
The bill garnered attention when it was in the House last year, in the wake of the murder trial of George
Zimmerman, who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. Florida’s "stand your
ground" legislation was central to public debate on that case.
Zimmerman was ultimately acquitted in the shooting after that highly-publicized trial last summer.
State Sen. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, who does not sit on the Civil Justice Committee, noted Monday
that both HB 203 and another bill, Senate Bill 338, are currently among the Second Amendment
rights-related bills being considered by the senate.
"While I expect one or two of these bills to pass, they are still in the committee process, and will
be for another week or two," said Gardner in a statement provided by his office. "I anticipate
a number of amendments that will change some of the bills, but it is not known what the committee will
Gardner said he could not comment on what the amendments might contain, but he did note that one issue
not included in HB 203 – that of allowing active-duty military to have the right to carry a concealed
firearm when they are on leave in Ohio – may be added by the Senate.
"Some active-duty military members are not permitted to have this option," said Gardner’s
statement. "The issue is they are allowed to carry a firearm defending America overseas, but some
of them are not permitted to defend themselves and their families when they are at home here in Ohio.
This is one issue being worked on that was not included in House Bill 203 and may be included by the
The "stand your ground"-like provisions in HB 203 make up only a small portion of the overall
bill which, as passed by the Ohio House, is 58 pages long. The balance of the bill is largely concerned
with specifics of concealed-carry laws in the state, including:
• Requiring Ohio to recognize concealed handgun licenses from states with which Ohio doesn’t have a
written reciprocity agreement if that state recognizes Ohio concealed-carry licenses.
• Reducing the minimum hours required for a firearms competency certification course from 12 hours to
four, and requiring the course to include training on where concealed handguns cannot be carried.
• More tightly defining what crimes and circumstances make an individual ineligible for a concealed-carry
• Allowing Attorney General’s investigators to be armed similarly to sheriff’s deputies and police when
they investigate cases related to the Medicaid program, nursing homes, residential care facilities and
instances of abuse or neglect in such facilities.

No posts to display