After an impassioned debate, the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 62-27 to approve legislation that would make sweeping changes to the state's concealed-weapons laws, including a so-called “stand your ground” self-defense provision, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The legislation now heads to the Ohio Senate. Supporters of the bill said it contains a number of changes designed to shore up Second Amendment rights and toughen rules for concealed handgun permits.
But Democratic legislators warned that a so-called “stand your ground” self-defense provision would lead to greater gun violence in the state, particularly against minorities. The provision would eliminate Ohio’s law requiring a person to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense, except what in their homes or cars. Several members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus spoke against the proposal, comparing the bill to Florida's “stand your ground” law, which came under scrutiny in 2012 during the trial of George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.