Ohio lawmakers override Kasich, approve new gun laws


    (Photo: MGN Online)

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Ohio lawmakers voted Thursday to override Governor Kasich's veto on a self-defense gun bill

    Now, major changes will be coming to the way prosecutors handle self-defense cases and to gun laws across the state.

    House Bill 228 was once a "stand your ground" bill but turned into a self-defense bill after it received some opposition at the statehouse.

    Over the summer, anti-gun violence group Moms Demand Action went to the statehouse to try and stop the bill from passing.

    Even though the "stand your ground provision" was removed, the final bill was vetoed by Governor Kasich, who said the bill demanded "a more careful, deliberate public debate than can every occur in the rushed, end-of-year environment of an abbreviated 'lame duck' session."

    But with Thursday's override by three-fifths of both the Ohio House and Senate, the bill and it's changes will still become law.

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

    Ohio was the only state in the country that made the defendant prove they were acting in self-defense.

    "We live in a country where you're innocent until proven guilty and it should be the same when it comes to defending yourself," said Republican House Rep. Niraj Antani of Miamisburg.

    The Buckeye Firearm Association also applauded the legislature's override of the governor's veto.

    "We shouldn't put additional burdens on crime victims to prove themselves innocent. It should be up to the prosecutors to prove there was a crime committed," said Joe Eaton with the association.

    The bill also strengthens gun rights by voiding any laws Ohio cities make about guns.

    Earlier this year, Cincinnati banned bump stocks and Columbus passed 11 gun laws hoping to decrease gun violence.

    The Buckeye Firearm Association is currently suing both cities and if successful, could be compensated for the cost.

    "House bill 228 makes any municipality who chooses to disobey Ohio law responsible for court fees should they be found in violation of ohio law."

    One Miami Valley lawmaker voted against HB 224 and its override, saying state lawmakers haven't done anything to address gun violence.

    "The only piece of legislation that we have been offered on the gun issue is one that is designed to protect the gun owner," said Republican Senator Peggy Lehner of Kettering.

    Because the bill was a veto override , it won't officially become a law for another 90 days, or sometime in March.

    But a "stand your ground" bill could still soon become law in Ohio. Governor-Elect Mike DeWine has said he supports those types of laws.

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