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Dispatch, Plain Dealer Criticize Reckless Gun Bill in Powerful Editorials

Last Wednesday, the Ohio House of Representatives passed HB 228, dangerous legislation that would make Ohio a so-called “Stand Your Ground” state, among other sweeping rollbacks of Ohio public safety laws.

In the days following, the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer editorialized against the bill, which is also opposed by the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

“With legislators back in session after breaking for elections, House majority Republicans displayed amnesia about their recent voter-pleasing promises of fighting for better health care and education, promoting job growth and holding the line on taxes. What came bursting through instead was GOP members’ ugly allegiance to the powerful gun lobby as they passed unnecessary and controversial stand-your-ground gun-rights legislation at a time when they should be seeking solutions to dial back gun violence.”

And from The Plain Dealer:

“If the bill is as innocuous as its backers try to make out, why didn’t the House pass it before, rather than after, Nov. 6’s election?”

While Governor Kasich has already stated he will veto the bill, the Plain Dealer notes, that does not change “the intentional blindness to its pernicious consequences should it become law.”

HB 228 would:

  • Upend traditional self-defense law in Ohio and allow a person to shoot to kill in public, even when there is a clear and safe alternative.
  • Encourage people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit or firearm safety training by removing the threat of serious punishment.
  • Allow out-of-state special interest groups to sue Ohio cities and towns for attempting to enact or enforce local solutions to gun violence.

More information about HB 228, including research about the effect Stand Your Ground has had in other states, is available here.