Ohio House Sends Duty to Retreat Bill to the Senate

With time growing short in the 2019-2020 legislative session, the Ohio House of Representatives approved language allowing people to defend themselves when they fear for their lives without having to first seek escape from their attackers.

Current law allows people to defend themselves in their own homes, commonly called "Castle Doctrine." But out in public, a person must first seek avenues of escape before they are legally allowed to use lethal force to protect themselves or another person.

This "Duty to Retreat" puts crime victims in harm's way, and even in legal jeopardy. After receiving thousands of emails and calls from Second Amendment advocates, including members of Buckeye Firearms Association and the NRA, the Ohio House amended Senate Bill 175 to repeal Ohio's Duty to Retreat law. The newly amended bill passed 52-31.

The amended version of SB 175 also provides civil immunity to nonprofit corporations, such as churches and charities, and persons associated with them for certain injuries, deaths, or losses resulting from the carrying of handguns. This fixes an oversight in the law which currently provides civil immunity to businesses and other entities.

The Ohio Senate must concur with the changes to SB 175 before the bill can be sent to Governor Mike DeWine for his signature. The Senate is expected to be back in session Friday December 18, 2020.

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