Ohio Senate Overturns Kasich Veto on Gun Rights Bill

The new law changes the burden of proof in self defense cases and lets police officers carry concealed.

Gov. John Kasich
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio vetoed a bill that moved the burden of proof in self defense cases from the defendant to the prosecutor.politico.com

Ohio lawmakers approved a measure that would expand the rights of gun owners in the Buckeye State, overturning outgoing Gov. John Kasich’s (R) earlier veto.

On December 27, the Ohio Senate turned in a 21 to 11 vote in favor of the measure, defeating Kasich’s veto.

The Senate had previously tried to avoid the Governor's ire by removing the stand-your-ground provision from the bill, but the outgoing politician vetoed it anyway, according to Fox 8 Cleveland.

Kasich chided lawmakers for not discussing so-called "red flag" laws. The ordinances typically strip gun rights of an individual that are believed to be showing warning signs of violence.

As it stands, the law will shift the burden of proof to prosecutors in self defense cases instead of the defendant, according to this story from TheHill.com.

Kasich said earlier in December that he believes defendants should have to prove self defense.

"This has never been the law in Ohio; the defendant has always had the burden of proving self-defense," Kasich wrote in the message. "This provision of the bill is strongly opposed by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association."

The "stand your ground" language remains excised. It would have eliminated the "duty to retreat" in self defense situationsin Ohio law when someone enters a life-threatening situation, the story says.

The Wall Street Journal reports the bill would allow off-duty police officers to carry concealed, permitting their peace officer status to pre-empt local gun restrictions. The bill also strengthens penalties against those conducting certain illegal firearm purchases.