Ohio is the only state that requires defendants to prove that their use of force was justified in self-defense. The proposed bill would shift this burden to the prosecution:
A person is allowed to act in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence. If, at the trial of a person who is accused of an offense that involved the person’s use of force against another , there is evidence presented that tends to support that the accused person used the force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person did not use the force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, as the case may be.
The bill also included several provisions that would expand the rights of concealed carry permit holders and restrict the ability of local governments to institute gun-control measures. The bill included one gun-control measure that Kasich had previously championed: a “straw man” provision that would make purchasing a firearm or ammunition under false identification or for another person a third-degree felony.
When the bill passed the House in November, it contained a controversial “stand-your-ground” provision that would have abrogated the “duty to retreat” before using force in self-defense. Kasich had warned that he would not sign the bill with this provision and it was removed from the bill approved by the Senate. Kasich had previously advocated for gun reforms, but he ultimately vetoed the bill, explaining that rather than preventing gun violence, the bill “creat[ed] more opportunities for gun violence to occur.”
The Ohio legislature has scheduled several last-minute sessions before the new year to review this legislation; they would need a three-fifths majority to override Kasich’s veto.
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