Senate Government Oversight and Reform holds hearing on HB228, the “Stand Your Ground” bill. (Andy Chow | Statehouse News Bureau)

Lawmaker Wants Clarity In Stand Your Ground Bill

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Republican senators are planning to discuss the possible changes they would like to make to HB228, the so-called “Stand Your Ground” bill which might include more specific language on when to use lethal force in self-defense situations.

Sen. Bill Coley (R-West Chester) he wants the bill to clearly state three pillars; an attacker clearly shows an intent to kill or cause serious harm, has the capability to do so, and the defender is in jeopardy.

“You can’t just say ‘I was in fear for my life’ and start shooting. That’s not permissible. It’s not permissible under current law it’s not permissible under the proposed statute,” says Coley, who chairs the Senate committee holding hearings on the bill.

This week supporters and opponents have spent several hours providing testimony on the bill. Supporters say this extends protections for people who find themselves in a life threatening situation. Opponents of the “Stand Your Ground” bill fear it will increase the number of gun deaths in Ohio.

Other potential amendments include language that allows a person to use a firearm as a way to deescalate a situation and allowing for a pre-trial immunity hearing for someone who used lethal force in self-defense.

Coley plans on introducing amendments in committee on Thursday. If the panel approves the bill it could quickly land on the Senate floor for a full chamber vote later that same day.

Gov. John Kasich has said he would veto the bill.