Governor DeWine Signs Bill Repealing Duty to Retreat
As a candidate for governor, then Attorney General Mike DeWine promised Ohio's 4 million gun owners that he would sign legislation to repeal the state's unjust duty to retreat law. On Monday, January 4th, 2021,Governor DeWine fulfilled that commitment by signing Senate Bill 175.
During the last days of session in late December 2020, the Ohio General Assembly voted to include this Second Amendment priority in Senate Bill 175, which also grants immunity to non-profit organizations from litigation in the event an act of gun violence takes place on their premises. DeWine's signature on the bill enacts one of Buckeye Firearms Association's top legislative priorities.
"We're very pleased the Governor kept his promise to sign the repeal of Ohio's duty to retreat law that forces victims of violent crime to retreat before they're legally able to defend themselves," said Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director, Dean Rieck. "Our organization worked relentlessly down the stretch to see this bill become law."
Although speculation ran high that the Governor might veto the bill, his signature on SB 175 keeps a promise he made multiple times in writing, in public and in private meetings with Buckeye Firearms Association and other gun rights advocates.
This bill brings Ohio into line with as many as 35 other states that have some form of stand your ground, with no duty to retreat for those who face imminent and deadly harm as long as they are in a place they are legally permitted to be. While this bill changes one technicality in Ohio law, it does not change the near universal and well-established standard for use of lethal force, nor does it give criminals a free pass to commit violent crime.
Governor DeWine has said that he thinks it's important for the legislature to make changes to the NICS reporting system that is meant to prevent criminals from purchasing firearms. Unfortunately, the system has been hampered sometimes when courts or government agencies fail to update the system in a timely fashion.
"From the beginning, BFA has been open to changes that would ensure more timely reporting," said Rieck. "However, we must protect the rights of the law abiding by making sure that reporting is done properly, and that people have a quick process to make corrections when the government makes mistakes. The National Shooting Sports Foundation's Fix NICS initiative is intended to do just that."
Buckeye Firearms Association looks forward to the beginning of the new legislative session and the opportunity to further improve Ohio law.