Innovation Ohio: June 2, 2020 – “The House has chosen this moment -- during a pandemic and a time of nationwide protests over institutional racism -- to bring back Stand Your Ground gun legislation. Stand Your Ground (House Bill 381) allows participants in a tense standoff to shoot to kill instead of deescalating the situation or leaving when it would be safe to do so. Stand Your Ground laws only lead to more violence and death, often at the expense of people of color. The House is also moving bills to effectively allow the carrying of concealed weapons without a license and to end the requirement to immediately notify a law enforcement officers about a concealed firearm during an interaction. House Bill 381 (Stand Your Ground) is up for a hearing Wednesday, as is HB425 (Duty to Notify) and HB178 (Unlicensed Carry). “
I was asked a few months ago to bullet point some of these gun bills that are being passed out of committee at the Statehouse and here’s what I have for you:
HB425 (Duty to Notify)
- I have a problem with the penalty part of this bill - $25 isn’t strong enough to incentivize someone to disclose they have weapons in the vehicle.
- I’m ok with showing your CCW license when you show your drivers license and discussing with the law enforcement officer at that time what you are carrying and where.
HB178 (Unlicensed Carry)
- This bill eliminates the need to get a license for any weapon other than a “restricted firearm” that Ohio or federal law prohibits the person from having or carrying.
- It also includes HB425 language and it does away with any penalties for non-disclosure of license and any prior penalties can be expunged.
- It expands State’s preemption of firearms regulation to include deadly weapons and firearm accessories and attachments, instead of only firearms, their components, and their ammunition.
House Bill 381 (Stand Your Ground)
- This proposed law expands the presumption of self-defense. It provides that a person who is not engaged in illegal activity has no duty to retreat from a place the person is lawfully present before using or threatening to use reasonable force, including deadly force, in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence.
- The bill provides that a trier of fact (trial judge) must not consider the possibility of retreat as a factor in determining whether or not a person who used force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent injury, loss, or risk to life or safety.
- A person is justified in the use of or threat to use reasonable force, including deadly force, even if an alternative course of action is available.
- A person may be wrong in the estimation of the danger or the force necessary to repel the danger as long as there is a reasonable basis for the person’s belief and the person acts reasonably in response to that belief.
- Self-Defense is not available in a criminal action to a person who uses force against another, who is an aggressor, if the person initially provoked the aggressor to use force or threat of force against the person, unless either of the following apply: (a) the use of force or threat of force by the aggressor is sufficient for the person’s reasonable belief that the person is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and (b) the use of force or threat of force by the aggressor continues to resumes after the person, in good faith, withdraws from physical contact. This all sounds ok – but who’s to say who’s the aggressor if one person is dead and there are no witnesses?
- And what exactly is a Pre-trial Immunity Hearing? No such thing!
- No affirmative Self-Defense action can be brought against Law Enforcement. Because, even if they are breaking down your door in the middle of the night with a “No Kock Warrant”, you are supposed to know who they are.
- And my favorite! A person who uses or threatens to use reasonable force, including deadly force, in accordance with section 2901.09 or 2001.091 of the revised code shall be immune from arrest, the filing of criminal charges, criminal prosecution, or civil action arising from the person’s use or threatened use of the reasonable force, including deadly force.
HB178 and HB381 are dangerous and unnecessary regulations. And my question to anyone who supports these measures – how do they make us safer?