I reported yesterday on a statement from Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters that he wouldn’t have charged George Zimmerman, even though the evidence in the case would lead to a much simpler prosecution under Ohio law. Maybe Deters was just prescient about proposed changes in Ohio.

Ohio Republicans have introduced HB 203, which would bring Stand Your Ground to Ohio.

It would change Ohio’s self-defense laws to read:

a person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense… if that person is in a place that the person lawfully has a right to be.

Compare that to Florida’s language:

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force…

Like a dog who does his business behind the couch to avoid getting caught, Ohio Republicans adopt the entirety of Stand Your Ground with the exception of the words “stand your ground”.

Most of HB 203 focuses on making it easier to get a concealed carry permit in Ohio, by removing minimum training requirements (Sec. 2923.125.G.1) and making it easier for people charged with narcotics possession (!) and people against whom there is a restraining order (!!!!!!) to get concealed carry licenses (Sec. 2923.125.D.1.d-j)1. It also exempts white collar criminals (Sec. 2923.11.P.1), presumably so that Rep. Beck can keep his permit2.

It also allows residents of other states to apply for an Ohio CCW permit and may require Ohio to honor CCW permits from states with less-strict CCW permitting requirements, to the degree that there would be any states left with looser regulations.

Bizarrely, it also changes Sec. 2917.31.B.2 to exempt “the exercise of a constitutional or statutory right” from charges of inciting a panic. I’m interpreting this as “Yosemite Sam’s Law” to allow people to openly carry guns in crowded places, though it may have some other meaning3.

The most shocking aspect of HB 203 is that it was introduced over a month ago! Yet it has somehow avoided coverage. The Enquirer doesn’t seem to have reported on it at all, even though half of the co-sponsors are from Cincinnati.

This is frankly unconscionable. Cincinnati is barely a decade removed from riots stemming from a demonstrated pattern of excessive force from police. Ever the market ideologues, Cincinnati’s exurban commando Republicans now want to privatize the use of excessive force.


1 This section is screaming for a closer look by somebody with a stronger background in these areas. This language could be clarifying procedure rather than exempting certain cases.

2 Not joking here. I think Rep. Beck has written a law so that he personally can keep his CCW permit.

3 I like to think of this as “exercising the right to privacy”. I wanted to be alone, so I fired a gun to clear out the room.

  • Adam

    Could you exercise your constitutional right to free speech by yelling “FIRE!!!” In a crowded theater now because of this bill?

  • Think.

    Ohio GOP legislators never write their own laws, because that might take some critical thinking skills that they never acquired or just forgot how to use. These “lawmakers” just copy and paste the bills, such as this “Stand Your Ground” legislation, that the American Legislative Exchange Council passes along to them. Stop ALEC and HB 203!

  • Katietoo

    God help us. Ohio ranks up there with Texas, Florida, Wisconsin and North Carolina in allowing ALEC infested legislation to take over our bodies, our schools, and now our justice system. Ick. We’ve got to oust Kasich and the GOP majority held state legislation in 2014!!

  • rhetorical

    You’re right. It’s not about thinking, it’s about believing in a label and being a good soldier.

  • Stephen Beard

    Oh, goody. Now I can buy myself a nice little shootin’ ‘arn and protect myself against all those annoying people who feel they have the right to engage in a conversation critical of Republican policies (hostile argument in GOP speak!). Un-American is what them people is.

  • DCM

    You’re misreading R.C. 2901.05. It was amended in 2008, and now contains a presumption of self-defense, with certain exceptions:

    Subject to division (B)(2) of this section, a person is presumed to
    have acted in self defense or defense of another when using defensive
    force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to
    another if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the
    process of unlawfully and without privilege to do so entering, or has
    unlawfully and without privilege to do so entered, the residence or
    vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force.


    The presumption set forth in division (B)(1) of this section does not
    apply if the person against whom the defensive force is used has a right
    to be in, or is a lawful resident of, the residence or vehicle.

    The presumption set forth in division (B)(1) of this section does not
    apply if the person who uses the defensive force uses it while in a
    residence or vehicle and the person is unlawfully, and without privilege
    to be, in that residence or vehicle.

    (3) The presumption
    set forth in division (B)(1) of this section is a rebuttable presumption
    and may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.

  • Luke Brockmeier

    The presumption in 2901.05 only applies in one’s home or vehicle against an unlawful intruder (as I understand).

    Strangely, HB 203 doesn’t directly amend 2901.05. It amends 2901.09 and applies it “to any section that sets forth a criminal offense”. It removes the duty to retreat, but doesn’t grant presumption to self-defense (I think).

  • Ohioan

    Lets hope this gets passed so if I unfortunatley have to use a weapon to defend myself I don’t get thrown in jail for it.

  • amyvav

    Geesh, I hope not. Half the crowd’ll leap up, draw their legally concealed weapons, and start firing!

    BTW – Not against legally concealed weapons – just against poorly trained morons and those who’ve needed to be legally restrained concealing them. Yippee ki-yay, Ohioans!

  • Mark Schrider

    Hmmm…I wonder how the language of HB 203 compares to the A.L.E.C. written version?

  • annekarima53

    I don’t get it. I’ve seen a sniper so called training video or two. If you do it, you claim it. You’re a hot button after you fire in the line of duty on that rooftop or where ever they put you. You’re weapon is seized. You get down time, ordered a psyche eval, maybe treatment. You better be able to explain you actions down to the second. And of course it is all recorded, thank you big brother.

    So now citizens can just go off at random? What gives? Or was the the video I saw just BS?

  • Mark Schrider

    Let’s not insult good soldiers. Unthinking obedience is a characteristic of cannon fodder.

  • Mark Schrider

    The revision to Ohio Revised Code Sec. 2901.09 (B) are really quite appalling. Originally limiting the use of force to the defense of one’s residence or vehicle “in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of
    that person’s residence”, it now applies to anyplace that “person lawfully has a right to be”. Additionally, Sec. 2917.11 sets out the conditions which the use of force in one’s defense is permissible. In short, you can draw iron and start shooting anywhere, at anyone for just about any reason.

  • Terry Ganford

    Assuming this law and Maag’s law about carrying guns anywhere pass, let me ask a question. Say a man with a narcotics and embezzlement record with a current restraining order from his ex is driving to a daycare. My pregnant wife and I pull in the parking lot ahead if him, and he is angry that we cut him off. My wife gets out to pick up our daughter and this man gets in her face and starts screaming at her. Seeing him yell at my pregnant wife, I get out and push him
    away and ask what his problem is. I am bigger than he is, he gets scared, pulls out his gun and kills me. This would be legal because:
    – his record will not preclude him from having a gun
    – having a gun at a daycare will be legal, and he had a right to be there
    – he is within his rights to yell at a pregnant woman
    – I made an aggressive move towards him.
    – he stood his ground and legally killed me in self defense
    Am I seeing this correctly?

  • Retrofuturistic

    Not surprised to see that collaborator Anne Gonzales, supporter of SB5, has her name on this bill….

  • Eric

    I can’t run.
    I will stand and if needed , protect.

    This site is kool-aid central, and you all have kool-aid mustaces.

    Check yourself by answering this:

    Was the Soviet Communist party a Labor Union? (Yes.)
    What was Mao Tse?

  • Eric

    I can’t run.
    I will stand and if needed , protect.

    This site is kool-aid central, and you all have kool-aid mustaces.

    Check yourself by answering this:

    Was the Soviet Communist party a Labor Union? (Yes.)
    What was Mao Tse?

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