November 16, 2018

Action Alert:
Tell Ohio Senate President to Table “Stand Your Ground” Bill

Update: On December 6, 2018, Ohio Senate president Larry Obhof stripped most of the “Stand Your Ground” language out of a companion bill to HB 228 before it was passed and sent to Governor John Kasich for his signature. What remained was a proposal to make prosecutors prove that shooters didn’t act in self-defense before pursuing charges against them. Previously, this burden of proof was on the shooter. Thanks to everyone who participated in this campaign and helped to remove some of the bills most’s dangerous provisions!

On November 14, 2018, the Ohio state House passed HB 228, a “Stand Your Ground” bill written by the NRA. It would eliminate the duty of residents to retreat from physical confrontations in public when they can safely do so, allowing them to shoot to kill. The bill would also shift the burden of proof in Ohio’s courts, forcing prosecutors to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that an individual who used deadly force did not act in “self-defense.”

House Republicans passed HB 228 over the objections of Ohio Legislative Black Caucus president Stephanie Howse, whose mic was cut off when she attempted to point out the threat SYG laws pose to people of color.

Additionally, HB 228 would reduce criminal  penalties for individuals who carry guns into prohibited locations like schools and forbid municipalities from enacting gun laws tougher than existing state laws.

Ohio Governor John Kasich has promised to veto any “Stand Your Ground” bill that emerges from the Ohio legislature. Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith said he is confident that the Republican super-majority in his chamber can override the governor’s veto.

The next step for the “Stand Your Ground” legislation is the Ohio Senate. Senate President Larry Obhof has not indicated whether he will bring a companion bill to HB 228 up for consideration in the chamber.

Please contact Ohio state Senate President Larry Obhof through one of the channels below and give him the following message (personalized to your liking):

I am contacting you to tell you to permanently table the Ohio Senate’s companion bill to HB 228, the dreadful “Stand Your Ground” legislation passed by the Ohio House. This legislation would cause totally unnecessary loss of life by allowing people who could otherwise safely walk away from a public confrontation to stand in, draw a gun, and steal another human being’s life. I value the lives of my fellow Ohio residents far too much to tolerate this gun lobby-drafted legislation. Heed the call of Governor Kasich and spend the Senate’s time working on legislation that would allow law enforcement to temporarily take guns from Ohio residents who are in crisis and at risk of harming themselves and/or others. This is a moderate policy, a sensible policy, and it comes in response to evidence that many shooters in America (including mass shooters) obtain firearms legally despite having a lengthy history of violence. You have a chance to stand out in Ohio history as a leader who sided with Ohioans over the interests of soulless corporate executives with blood on their hands like Wayne LaPierre. I will be watching your actions closely in the days to come.

Ohio state Senate President Larry Obhof
Phone: (614) 466-7505
Email via webform (use OH zip code):

Once you have contacted Senator Obhof, fill in the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!

This is an action alert, NOT an online petition. Please take the action before filling out the fields below.

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