Stand Your Ground bill advancing through Ohio legislature; NAACP voices concern

NAACP voices opposition to Ohio's Stand Your Ground bill (WRGT/WKEF)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKRC) - Ohio could soon become a Stand Your Ground state.

The state senate is debating whether to pass their version of House Bill 228. The law would remove the requirement that you must try and retreat when faced with a self-defense situation.

State senator Bill Coley of Hamilton says the bill clears up the law.

“I think it's incumbent upon us to do our job and make sure that it's crystal clear as to when the use of deadly force is not subject to criminal prosecution,” said Coley.

The bill essentially expands the Castle Doctrine, which states you can use deadly force to protect your home or car. If passed, those protections would spread to any place you're legally allowed to be.

There’s a long list of opponents of the bill including the Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio's Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the NAACP.

“It's about public safety, and if you're African-American, your life is at risk when it comes to Stand Your Ground because any citizen who is licensed to carry a weapon and you get into a confrontation, they can use force and say that they felt threatened,” said Joseph Mallory, first vice president of the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP.

“They’re wrong as far as Ohio doesn't need this,” said Coley. “There's a patchwork of opinions and statutes and rules that have been enacted, and it's not clear all in one spot."

“It’s going to be dangerous for everyone out there and we are very concerned,” said Mallory. “We are highly opposed,” he added.

Gov. John Kasich has said he will veto the bill if it makes it to his desk. Coley told Local 12 that a vote could happen as soon as Thursday.

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