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Brady Statement on Ohio Legislature Passing a ‘Stand Your Ground’ Bill

Washington, D.C., December 18, 2020 – Following the passage of a “Stand Your Ground” bill by the Ohio Legislature, Brady urges Governor DeWine to veto the bill. This law would hurt Ohioans and make the state less safe.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“Stand Your Ground laws are shown to increase violence and disproportionately hurt Black and Brown communities in America. Proponents of this bill argue that Ohio citizens need the lawful ability to defend themselves if threatened. They already possess that right; but they do not possess the right to kill with impunity. This bill would endanger Ohioans and undermine our collective responsibility to protect public safety.

In a year where gun violence in Ohio has skyrocketed, Gov. DeWine must not allow this bill to become law. The people of Ohio have repeatedly raised a call for common-sense gun safety measures. This is the opposite. For the sake of public safety, The Governor must veto this bill.”

About Stand Your Ground Laws:

Beginning with Florida in 2005, a number of states have enacted Stand Your Ground laws, which fundamentally altered the law of self-defense. Traditionally, the law of self-defense put a premium on protecting life; the law imposed on private citizens a duty to try, if possible, to retreat from a dangerous confrontation prior to deploying lethal force in self-defense with a narrow exception for confrontations occurring in their homes.

These laws were promoted by the NRA and the gun lobby in furtherance of the myth that the Second Amendment encompasses the right to armed confrontation and that guns increase public safety by reducing crime. These laws were also drafted and passed without any consideration of the fact that they would embolden racially- motivated vigilantism like the shooting deaths of Trayvon Martin in Florida and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. These laws undermine public safety and encourage reckless gun owners to believe that even if they could avoid a lethal confrontation, they can kill someone and later claim self-defense to avoid being held responsible for taking the lives of individuals — particularly people of color — they falsely perceive as a threat.

The dark reality of Stand Your Ground laws is clear:

  1. These laws do not reduce crime.
  2. These laws actually increase firearm homicide.
  3. They are more likely to be successfully used to “justify” the murder of a Black individual by a white individual.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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