The state of Ohio has a new law regarding the use of deadly force.
Ohio’s “Stand Your Ground” legislation was signed into law in January, but officially takes effect across the state Tuesday.
“It takes that requirement to retreat and if somebody does feel their life is in danger they don’t have to have that burden of proof that they tried to retreat. They have the right to defend themselves,” said Sheriff Matt Lutz, Muskingum County.
Prior to the law being implemented it was a requirement that someone who used deadly force had to show they attempted to retreat from the situation before firing a weapon.
Sheriff Lutz does not anticipate the changes in the new law will have any negative consequences in Muskingum County.
“I’ve seen some statements where people think this is going to escalate shootings. I don’t feel that here. I think some places that are already having shootings you may end up with more people using self-defense and the suspects may get shot more,” said Lutz.
Though people using deadly force no longer have to show they retreated prior to firing a weapon they still must have a legitimate fear for their life or serious bodily injury. Additionally, they must legally be allowed to be at the location and they cannot be the person who started an altercation.