Ohio House Passes Bill To Stiffen Penalties For Rioters

(ONN) – The Republican-controlled Ohio House has approved legislation targeting protesters with a provision normally used against terroristic activity.

The legislation would allow police officers harmed during riots to sue individuals or organizations that provided material support or resources, such as lodging or transportation.

Material support is conduct tied in state and federal law to actions by alleged terrorist groups.

The bill also increases penalties for rioting and creates the offenses of riot assault and riot vandalism.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio calls the legislation an extreme attack on free speech.

“Let us be perfectly clear: vague, subjective laws like HB 109 are meant to intimidate individuals who exercise their First Amendment Rights and speak out against injustices.”

Also, the Ohio House approved legislation prohibiting Ohio governments from stopping sales of guns or ammunition during a public emergency or activities deemed to be a riot.