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Ohio soon may become the next state to adopt a “stand your ground” law.
Ohio House Bill 203 includes a provision that says when you’re in a place you’re legally allowed to be, e.g., not trespassing, and you’re confronted with a situation in which you need to defend yourself, another person, or your property, that you don’t have to try to escape or retreat from the danger before using deadly force.
The bill was approved 63-27 in the House of Representatives and now is pending in the state Senate.
The “stand your ground” provision is an expansion of traditional common law principles, which say that a defendant has to show he or she had no opportunity to retreat when pleading self-defense to a charge involving use of deadly force.
Stand your ground laws have been a topic of national discussion since the Florida murder trial of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch member who shot and killed Trayvon Martin during a fight. Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges using a stand your ground defense.
The “stand your ground” provision isn’t the only thing House Bill 203 proposes. The legislation includes a number of other gun-related measures, including: