State Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) late Thursday night spoke on the House floor and voted against an amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 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. This type of legislation is dangerous for Ohioans and disproportionately impacts the Black Ohioans.
"I'm going to keep on telling peoples stories because they aren't here to tell their stories. They are not alive for you to hear their stories," said Representative Brent. "This amendment removes the obligation to practice de-escalation efforts when carrying handguns. It completely disregards racial biases and will disproportionally affect people of color. In our community, there are countless deaths that were justified because of stand your ground law while performing every day activities, such as walking down a street, parking a car, or refusing to turn down music. Trayvon Martin, Emmitt Till and countless others' lives are unjustly taken. I am tired of adding names to the list of people who are affected by the stand your ground law. Our victims that die do not receive their day in court to advocate for themselves."
The Ohio House voted on the amendment to Senate Bill 175 late in the night on Thursday, December 17, 2020, which passed with a vote of 52-30.