Newark (Ohio)Advocate: In the days and weeks since a proposal to change Ohio’s self-defense laws was offered, both sides of the debate made strong, impassioned pleas for and against the changes. Although some of the arguments against what some call the “stand your ground” provision were admittedly over-the-top, we believe the current law balances the rights of both gun owners and people who choose not to legally arm themselves.
Under current law, Ohioans do not need to retreat before using force if they are lawfully in their homes, vehicles or the vehicle of an immediate family member. You don’t have to retreat to defend yourself, but you don’t get to run outside the house and shoot an intruder in the back either.
The change would expand the circumstances where the use of force trumps the duty to retreat in such places as stores and streets.
But we’ve not seen a wealth of evidence to suggest law-abiding citizens are being charged, and convicted, when they have defended themselves in public situations. Ultimately, the issue begs the question: Is the change essential to gun rights in Ohio?
We don’t believe it is. The Fraternal Order of Police agrees, and opposes the stand your ground provision for solid reasons.