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Rep. Sobecki Calls for Repeal of Ohio’s “Shoot First” Law

Says no duty to retreat will make deadly confrontations more common

State Rep. Lisa Sobecki  (D-Toledo) last week called on Statehouse leaders to repeal Ohio’s new no duty to retreat law, which passed in December 2020. Democratic-sponsored legislation, House Bill (HB) 38, would repeal the new shoot first law that takes effect Tuesday.

“Ohioans want common-sense gun safety regulations like universal background checks, not this. The ‘no duty to retreat’ law does not make Ohio safer and disproportionately harms minorities and Ohioans of color,” said Rep. Sobecki. “Ohioans already have the right to defend themselves when their lives are threatened. ‘No duty to retreat’ discourages responsible gun ownership and is a step in the wrong direction. Ohio laws should be focused on reducing gun violence and the opportunities for violence. ‘No duty to retreat’ does the opposite.”

HB 38 would repeal the recently passed Shoot First law that permits the use of deadly force by individuals who believe their lives are endangered anywhere in the state. The measure was added as a last-minute amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 175 in December 2020, and the governor signed the bill into law even after suggesting he would veto the extreme legislation.

A recent report found that shoot first laws may have led to an increase in total homicides and firearm homicides in states which have enacted them.

During discussion of the bill on the House floor in late December, multiple Democratic lawmakers argued that the new law will disproportionately affect Black Ohioans and other communities of color. In the 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a similar law on the books in Florida was invoked because the shooter claimed self-defense.

Ohio’s no duty to retreat law takes effect April 6. No hearings have been scheduled on HB 38 to date.




Copyright © 2021 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/22/21 15:21:54 -0400.

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