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Ohio’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law goes into effect Tuesday as the debate continues

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 9:20 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Stand your ground. It’s a controversial, Republican-backed law that goes into effect across the state on Tuesday.

The new law takes away the legal requirement that people try to retreat from a situation before using deadly force.

Ohioans remain divided over whether the bill will make us safer or lead to unwarranted deaths.

Joe Eaton from Buckeye Firearms made up his mind about Stand Your Ground long ago.

He thinks the law is a big step in the right direction.

“The main point that gets lost in a lot of the conversation is this legislation, and stand your ground self defense law in general, do not come into effect until somebody is already a victim of a violent crime,” he said.

There are no shortage of people who oppose the new law.

Among them is Bryan Dickens from University Heights.

He said he was disappointed when the law passed.

“It didn’t surprise me you have that tightening your chest like this isn’t a good idea, but I saw it coming,” Dickens said.

Also in opposition: Cleveland’s NAACP chapter.

Back in January, the group spoke out against the bill, pointing out that statistically people of color are unjustly perceived as threats.

Stand Your Ground, according to the NAACP, puts Black members of our community at the greatest risk.

But Eaton disagrees, saying this law is all about self defense and will not target anyone.

“As a society, we should want to give more freedom and more empowerment to crime victims and support them anyway that we can that’s what this law does,” Eaton said.

Dickens told 19 News he feels that this law will cause more trouble for minorities.

“It seems like minorities, for whatever bias there is, seem to bear the brunt of freedom to carry wherever you want,” he said.

Governor DeWine is also supporting an expansion of background checks and strengthening penalties for criminals who possess, buy, or sell guns.

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