There are two bills currently moving through the Ohio legislature that Buckeye gun owners are watching closely. House Bill 228 would relieve lawful gun owners of the duty to retreat in a life-or-death situation. Gun owners would have the right to defend themselves, up to and including the use of lethal force, anywhere they have a legal right to be.
Opponents of allowing armed citizens to defend themselves in a grocery store, at a gas station or as they change a tire by the side of the road love to claim that “stand your ground” laws are really licenses to murder. And everyone’s favorite mom, Shannon Watts, isn’t above playing the race card in her attempts to drum up opposition to the bill.
The Stand Your Ground bill just passed out of an Ohio committee along party lines. These laws are linked to an increase in gun homicides and more gun homicides of Black people by white people deemed as “justified:” https://t.co/yXynXHjpYN
Text OHIO to 64433 to stop this bill. https://t.co/qUFOexAVIX
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 22, 2018
But the bill has plenty of backing in the legislature. House Speaker Ryan Smith says HB 228 should come to a vote in the Ohio House next week.
The legislation, House Bill 228, would also shift the burden of proof in self-defense cases from the defense to the prosecution (Ohio is the only state to have such a rule) and would allow residents or groups to challenge local gun-control ordinances in court, among other changes.
Smith, a Gallia County Republican, said he feels “comfortable in saying there’s a lot of support for that bill.”
A lot of support, except for in the governor’s mansion. Governor John Kasich isn’t on board with Ohioans exercising their right to armed self defense wherever they may legally be and he’s threatened to veto HB 228.
But Smith said he believes House Republicans would have the 60 votes required to override Kasich’s veto.
That’s the good news. Kasich, however, has gotten on the “common sense gun safety” bandwagon and is supporting HB 585. In addition to expanding what constitutes a prohibited person to all felons and making more disabled people ineligible for gun ownership, HB 585 would enact a so-called “red flag” law that would allow friends and relatives petition a court to remove an individual’s firearms…sans due process protections.
Which, if either of these bill will become law seems to be a toss-up at this point. HB 228 looks to be a lock to make it to the Governor’s desk. The question then will become whether the Republican-dominated House has the votes to override Kasich’s promised veto. Let’s hope so.