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AUDIO: Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton Chief of Police Richard Biehl, Gun Safety Advocates Call on State Legislature to Stop Stand Your Ground — Call on Gov. DeWine to Veto, if Passed


Ohio Senate Committee Advanced a Stand Your Ground Bill, SB383, Last Week, and the Bill is Expected to Receive a Vote in the Full Senate This Week Despite Fierce Opposition Across the State

While Gun Violence is Hitting Record Highs Throughout Ohio, Lawmakers have Used the Lameduck Session to Push Several Bills to Weaken Gun Laws, including SB 317, a Bill to Strip Training Requirements for Teachers Carrying Guns in Schools

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley – a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, – Dayton Chief of Police Richard Biehl, Ohio Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action held a press conference call to urge lawmakers to abandon their efforts to pass a Stand Your Ground bill, and call on Gov. Mike DeWine to veto the bill if it lands on his desk.

Audio of the press call is available here.

Despite fierce opposition from mayors and police chiefs across the state — and mounting evidence that Stand Your Ground laws increase homicide rates and exacerbate gun violence — the Ohio Senate Committee on Government Oversight and Reform advanced SB 383 and the bill is expected to receive a vote on the Senate floor this week.

While gun violence is hitting record highs across the state, Ohio lawmakers have spent the majority of the 2020 lameduck session pushing several bills to weaken gun laws in addition to Stand Your Ground, including SB 317, a bill to dramatically reduce training requirements for teachers carrying guns in schools.

“Stand Your Ground is opposed by Ohioans, by mayors across the state, and by law enforcement because Stand Your Ground would move Ohio in the exact wrong direction — at a time when Ohioans are demanding our leaders to do more to prevent gun violence,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “That’s why we are urging lawmakers in the State Legislature to abandon this effort to weaken our gun laws and asking that Gov. DeWine veto this bill if it lands on his desk.”

“As a police chief, I am sworn to protect our communities — that’s why I’m urging state lawmakers and our governor to consider the very dangerous implications of Stand Your Ground,” said Dayton Chief of Police Richard Biehl. “Stand Your Ground would not reduce crime or promote law and order in our communities — it would instead threaten public safety and make our law enforcement officers’ jobs more challenging.” 

“Stand Your Ground isn’t about protecting people whose lives are in real, imminent danger, because Ohio law already protects them — and it wouldn’t prevent crime,” said Shela Blanchard, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action whose niece, Monica was killed in the Dayton shooting in 2019. “Stand Your Ground would instead make our communities less safe and put more lives – and especially Black lives – at further risk of gun violence. We shouldn’t have to live in fear of receiving that life-changing phone call telling us that our child has been taken from us.”

“Instead of moving forward on popular, evidence-based gun safety policies, the Ohio Legislature has spent the entire lame duck session rushing through extreme bills like Stand Your Ground that would exacerbate the gun violence already disproportionately impacting Black and Latino people in Ohio,” said Mitchell Pinsky, a junior at The Ohio State University and member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board. “This summer, Ohioans and the Black Lives Matter movement demanded that state lawmakers take action to combat systemic racism. Stand Your Ground is a far cry from this. Our state lawmakers and the governor of Ohio have a responsibility to protect our communities and stop Stand Your Ground.”