Ohio House (Andy Chow | Statehouse News Bureau)

Ohio Legislature Override Kasich Veto On Self-Defense Gun Bill

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The Ohio House and Senate have voted to override Gov. John Kasich’s veto on, HB228, a bill that would revamp the way the state handles self-defense cases in court.

The bill shifts the burden of proof in self-defense cases from the defense to the prosecution.

The legislation had strong support from pro-gun groups who said this would put Ohio in step with every other state in the country. Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine said shifting the burden ensures that someone is “innocent until proven guilty…one of the pillars of our nation’s legal system.”

In his veto message, Kasich said the Legislature should’ve considered his “red flag law” proposal which allows courts to take guns away from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.

“It’s hard for me to know what his reason is for doing anything,” says Irvine. “­They’re two completely unrelated concepts and ideas. So why you would veto ‘Bill A’  because they didn’t pass ‘Bill 3’ makes no sense to me.”

While the majority of Kasich’s veto message was spent discussing his “common sense” gun regulations, he also objected to the bill’s language on municipalities.

“A provision in this bill to restrict the rights of local governments to enact any policies concerning firearms further erodes Ohio’s long-established policies that guarantee local governments substantial sovereignty under the legal principle known as “home rule,” Kasich wrote.

The bill was originally dubbed the “Stand Your Ground” bill because it would have eliminated the “duty to retreat” provision in Ohio law when someone finds themselves in a life-threatening situation.

The “Stand Your Ground” bill has been met with vocal opposition around the country as critics say it would only make it easier for someone to use lethal force if they claim it was out of self-defense.

In December, a Senate committee took the “Stand Your Ground” language out of the bill.