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Here are talking points on three critical bills before the Ohio Assembly.
Find contact information for legislators and legislative leaders at bottom of page.
Stand your Ground bills: sb 237 & HB 381
The recent shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in GA provides another ugly reminder of the dangers of "stand your ground" (SYG) laws. Read more HERE. These laws are permitting summary executions by armed civilians in other states. In too many of these scenarios an unarmed person (typically a person of color) is confronted by an armed individual who has no visible (or any other) identification as a legitimate law enforcement officer. Unsurprisingly, when confronted by an armed and aggressive stranger the targeted person resists. A struggle ensues and the targeted person is shot. The shooter then employs the SYG legal defense by claiming he feared for his own safety, even though he initiated the conflict.
From Everytown, "Stand Your Ground laws upend centuries of traditional self-defense doctrine and threaten public safety by encouraging armed vigilantism, allowing a person to kill another person in a public area even when they can clearly and safely walk away from the danger. These laws are associated with increases in homicides and injuries across different demographics and neighborhoods, while disproportionately impacting communities of color. They encourage the escalation of violence in avoidable situations and do not deter crime. Lawmakers should put the safety of their constituents first and reject dangerous Stand Your Ground proposals." These points are expanded here.
From Giffords Law Center, "'Stand your ground' laws allow a person to use deadly force in self-defense in public, even if that force can be safely avoided by retreating. As a result, these laws encourage the escalation of violence in everyday conflicts. Nevertheless, more than half of US states have now adopted “stand your ground” policies—ignoring centuries of legal precedent and a growing body of research showing these laws significantly increase gun homicides and injuries." These points are expanded here.
From GVPedia, a list of six concise points with explanation based on 10 studies here.
Find examples of testimony opposed to this bill by going here and scrolling down to Jan. 21, 2020 hearing.
Choose a witness and click "Download."
permitless concealed carry: HB 178
Permitless concealed carry (a.k.a. "Constitutional Carry") would remove from Ohio law the requirement of a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Elimination of the permit would also remove the requirement of at least a minimum amount of firearm training and a background check. In effect the law would allow any person who is old enough to possess a firearm to legally carry that firearm concealed in Ohio.
From Everytown, "Permitless carry legislation strips states of essential permitting and training standards for carrying concealed guns in public. It is part of the gun lobby’s broader agenda to weaken critical gun safety laws, allowing more guns everywhere, which in turn has led to an increase in gun violence. The majority of Americans support concealed carry permitting systems that provide firearm safety training and ensure that only responsible gun owners can carry concealed guns in public." These points are expanded here.
From Giffords Law Center, "Historically, almost every state prohibited or strictly limited the carrying of concealed, loaded weapons in public places. These restrictions were among the earliest gun laws adopted in the United States. In the 20th Century, some states began to grant law enforcement discretion to issue concealed carry permits to individuals who passed a background check and received firearm safety training and/or demonstrated a particular need to carry hidden, loaded guns in public. At the behest of the gun lobby, however, many states have weakened those permit requirements in recent years. Claims that permissive CCW laws lead to decreases in crime—by helping fight off criminals and sending the message to would-be attackers that any potential victim might be packing heat—are simply untrue. No credible statistical evidence exists to show that permissive CCW laws reduce crime. In fact, the evidence suggests that permissive CCW laws may actually increase the frequency of some types of crime, like assault. This research confirms the common sense conclusion that more guns create more opportunities for injury and death, not fewer." These points are expanded here.
Find many examples of testimony opposed to this bill by going here and scrolling down to May 22, 2019 hearing.and subsequent hearings. Choose a witness and click "Download."
guns in schools without training: SB 317
This bill would permit school boards to designate staff members to carry firearms on school property while exempting those staff members from completing the "peace officer training" currently required under Ohio law.
From Everytown, "It’s time for leaders to pursue the approaches that have been shown to be effective to keep guns out of schools. These approaches include addressing students’ health, empowering teachers and law enforcement to intervene if students show warning signs, improving schools’ physical security in a targeted way, and keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. We can’t let risky ideas, like arming teachers, dominate the debate on school safety. An armed teacher cannot transform into a specially-trained law enforcement officer in a moment of extreme duress." This introduction is expanded here.
From Giffords, "Law enforcement officers undergo extensive firearm training in order to respond to crisis scenarios. Teachers don’t. More guns in an active shooter situation makes it more difficult for police officers to identify the shooter and respond, making the situation more dangerous. That’s what happened in Tucson when my boss, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot. It happened again in a Colorado shopping center in November. We cannot risk this happening in schools with our children in the crossfire." Additional points provided here.
For a long list of testimony provided in opposition to this bill, go here and scroll down to the July 21, 2020 hearing.