With our battle to advance HB201 (Constitutional Carry) progressing through the Statehouse, I wanted to give you a sneak peak at what we believe will become a major political fight for gun owners in the year ahead.
Ohio Gun Owners was founded for the basic purpose of defeating gun-control and passing major pro-gun bills: Stand-Your-Ground and Constitutional Carry.
Thanks to your efforts and support, Constitutional Carry is already making huge headway – more than any year since it was originally introduced in 1995!
But right now in Ohio, law-abiding gun owners like you and me have a “duty to retreat” from a violent attacker before we can legally defend ourselves.
Worse, Ohio is the only country in the state where the burden is on YOU to prove whether or not you acted in self-defense.
And to add insult to injury, if you’re forced to use a firearm in self-defense you are opened up for civil and criminal lawsuits.
That means that even if you are found innocent in the end, the way our laws are structured you may have to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so!
And if you are like most gun owners I know, depleting your family wealth or going massively into debt just to defend yourself in court just isn’t an option.
That’s why we need Stand-Your-Ground law.
Simply put: the vast majority of Americans already enjoy the protections that Stand-Your-Ground law affords.
If passed here in Ohio, Stand-Your-Ground law would simply remove your duty to retreat before you could defend yourself or loved ones from a violent criminal.
In addition, it would provide important criminal and civil protections to gun owners who are forced to defend themselves.
No more could a law abiding gun owner be prosecuted for not running away some arbitrary number of steps before defending his life.
And no more having to spend five years and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to stave off a spurious civil suit, as our Stand-Your-Ground law precludes you from being civilly sued if you’re not responsible criminally.
It doesn’t change the laws regarding what is a justifiable use of force, nor does it bring about a ‘shoot first ask questions later’ dynamic.
Nor would Stand-Your-Ground law ever be able to be used by a criminal to defend himself, as the law specifies that the person claiming a Stand-Your-Ground defense must legally be present when using force.
So a home invasion suspect –- in the midst of committing a felony -– can’t shoot you and claim self-defense.
Same for a rapist, robber, or any other criminal.
That’s why it’s law in dozens of states right now, as you can see from the map below!
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s high time that the Ohio legislature changes our laws to protect law-abiding citizens FIRST instead of criminals.
If you agree, I hope you’ll sign our petition to the legislature insisting that they pass this legislation in 2018!
With Stand-Your-Ground law on the move all over the county, we need to fight hard to get it done here in Ohio!
Our sister organization, the Missouri Firearms Coalition, made Stand-Your-Ground law a reality in Missouri in 2016, becoming the first state to break the logjam in place since the 2012 Zimmerman/Martin case.
And earlier this year, another of our sister organizations, Iowa Gun Owners, rammed Stand-Your-Ground legislation into law in Iowa — concluding a six-year fight!
In Missouri, the Missouri Firearms Coalition had to fight with a hostile Democratic governor who vetoed the bill, before going on to pass their bill.
Our friends in Iowa had to work for years to expose anti-gun leaders in their State Senate -– hacking out 35 anti-gun incumbents in all –- to be able to pass their bill this year!
So why can’t this happen in Ohio, with an overwhelming two-thirds Republican legislature that professes to be pro-gun?
It can, but we need all hands on deck.
It’s an election year next year, and the politicians in Columbus will be looking to shore up support from the district back home heading into their reelections.
That’s why we’re pleased to be bringing forward the Ohio Gun Owners Stand-Your-Ground bill shortly, but we can’t do it alone.
In addition to becoming law in Iowa and Missouri recently, Stand-Your-Ground is on the move in states all over the country.
Wyoming, Idaho, Wisconsin and even Minnesota are all working on this same legislative concept.
It’s time Ohio to join that list in 2018!
But we need to get as many gun owners as possible involved in this fight, to make sure that our representatives feel the pressure loud and clear.
We need to pour on the pressure in Columbus using mail, email, and social media.
Your donations will help us do that, so I hope you will be generous!