By: José Niño

Gun owners in Ohio can breathe a sigh of relief now that Governor Mike DeWine has signed a “Stand Your Ground” bill into law.

This action came during a time when many people speculated that DeWine would veto the bill because of the Ohio legislature’s lack of enthusiasm in moving DeWine’s anti-gun STRONG Ohio package forward.

Before this new modification was passed, Ohio law required individuals to retreat before using lethal force in self-defense in any location that was not their home or vehicle. Under the new bill that DeWine signed, the words “vehicle” and “home” were removed from Ohio’s current Stand Your Ground rule; the law now says that people have no duty to retreat, provided they are legally allowed to be in a given location.

“While campaigning for governor, I expressed my support for removing the ambiguity in Ohio’s self-defense law, and Senate Bill 175 accomplishes this goal,” DeWine declared in a statement.

DeWine was originally irked with the fact that this bill did not include provisions making it more difficult for “dangerous criminals to illegally possess and use guns” and raise the penalties for those who illegally possess the firearms. Toward the end of 2020, DeWine insisted on passing his STRONG Ohio pet project during his Wuhan virus briefings and continued pressuring his legislative counterparts to act.

“National and state background check systems are sometimes missing vital information – things such as convictions, active protection orders, and open warrants,” DeWine said in the statement. “Requiring the submission of this important information into the background check systems is a common-sense reform that I will continue to pursue.”

Thankfully for Buckeye gun owners, DeWine did not get his way with passing a watered-down form of gun control. Moreover, DeWine did not play petty politics by capsizing Stand Your Ground because of the General Assembly’s failure to advance his gun control proposals.

This is good news for Ohio. It almost appeared that DeWine was about to become another statistic of a Republican elected official selling out his constituents for the sake of political expediency, however, nothing is set in stone in politics. When grassroots activists make enough noise, politicians will listen.

With Ohio passing a Stand Your Ground enhancement, the Ohio General Assembly should go even further by passing Constitutional Carry. The state government already has solid Republican control of all chambers of government, with supermajorities in both chambers. So there’s no excuse for the Ohio GOP not to pass this legislation during the next legislative session.

Second Amendment activists should be applauded for their activism, but their work is far from over in the Buckeye State.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.