State Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) today condemned Governor Mike DeWine’s signing into law of Senate Bill 175, which grants civil immunity to handgun licensees who are responsible for injury, death, or other loss as a result of carrying a handgun. The proposed amendment mimics “stand your ground” laws and permits the use of deadly force by individuals who believe their lives are endangered. Brent says the legislation disproportionately impacts the lives of Black Ohioans and puts the safety of Ohioans at risk.
“In the middle of a pandemic, rather than focus on legislation that would provide much-needed relief to Ohioans, the Republican Party is passing bills that put Ohioans’ safety at risk,” said Representative Brent. “This kind of legislation disregards racial biases and will disproportionately affect people of color. There is a long list of countless deaths, including Trayvon Martin and Emmitt Till, whose lives have been taken as a result of this dangerous legislation. These victims never receive their day in court and are unable to advocate for their lives. They are not here to tell their stories, so I will never stop saying their names and telling their stories.”
Representative Brent also acknowledged the demands of the people of Ohio for gun safety legislation and the need for the legislature to take seriously its responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all Ohioans.
“The people have demanded the legislature ‘do something’ to address gun violence in Ohio, but instead we have seen the exact opposite with legislation like this. This bill will not save lives,” Representative Brent said. “We have a real opportunity and obligation to address gun violence in our state by passing commonsense legislation that will save lives. I hope to see us take this issue seriously in the 134th General Assembly.”
Governor DeWine signed Ohio Senate Bill 175 into law today, January 4, 2021.