The Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, the grassroots networks of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statements after Gov. DeWine signed dangerous “Stand Your Ground” legislation into law:
“When it comes to gun safety, Governor DeWine is all talk and no action,” said Lisa Voigt, a volunteer with Ohio Moms Demand Action. “By kowtowing to the extremists in the legislature he has failed his constituents and let the world know that he stands with the gun lobby over public safety. By signing this reckless, racist legislation he is putting Ohioans at risk.”
“Talk is cheap,” said Mitchell Pinsky, a junior at The Ohio State University and member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board. “Gov. DeWine has said a lot about wanting to prevent gun violence, but instead he threw his power behind this racist and dangerous policy that we know will only increase gun violence. Ohioans deserve leaders who will act on calls to prevent gun violence and tackle systemic racism — not enact shameful laws that take us backward.”
While Gov. DeWine’s signing statement suggested the governor supports efforts to reduce gun violence, the signing evokes flashbacks of his failure to fight for meaningful gun safety legislation even after the Dayton mass shooting. Despite his stated support for gun violence prevention in the wake of the tragedy, Gov. DeWine abandoned efforts to require background checks on all Ohio gun sales just two months later and refused to back life-saving red flag legislation.
Moms Demand Action and gun safety supporters in Ohio made over 1,700 calls and sent over 4,300 emails to lawmakers during the lame duck session alone asking them to oppose Stand Your Ground and other efforts to weaken Ohio’s gun laws. Additionally, over 550 Ohioans submitted testimony in opposition to the bills, Ohio six mayors — all members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns — penned an Op-Ed voicing their opposition, and police chiefs from across the state wrote a letter urging lawmakers not to pass SB 175, Stand Your Ground or SB 317, a bill to strip training requirements for teachers and staff carrying guns in schools.
Stand Your Ground laws are associated with an increase in firearm homicides and injuries and do not deter crime. At least 30 people nationwide are killed each month as a result of Stand Your Ground laws. Stand Your Ground laws also disproportionately impact communities of color. The policy is known for helping white shooters avoid criminal prosecution and putting Black people at further risk of gun violence. When white shooters kill Black victims, the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable more frequently than when the shooter is Black and the victim is white.
More information about the risks of Stand Your Ground policies are available here. Statistics about gun violence in Ohio are available here, and information on how Ohio’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here.