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Ohio lawmakers override governor's veto, pass new gun law

WLWT Cincinnati logo WLWT Cincinnati 12/29/2018
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Ohio House Bill 228 began its legislative journey with what critics called a stand your ground provision, which would have eliminated the legal requirement to retreat from a perceived threat of violence before firing a gun.

A Senate committee in Columbus had previously removed that provision in order to secure enough votes to pass the bill Thursday, despite Gov. John Kacisch's veto.

"It was a huge win for Ohioans across the state," Michele Mueller said, referring to the removal of the stand your ground provision.

Mueller is with the Cincinnati chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

"We are winning at the state level," she said.

But as Mueller knows, winning is in the eye of the beholder. While she's glad lawmakers revised House Bill 228, she's not happy the bill ended up being approved.

"We were disappointed that our lawmakers decided to override Gov. Kasich's veto," Mueller said.

Joe Eaton, with Buckeye Firearms Association, feels just the opposite.

"We all grew up knowing that we were supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in the United States, and Ohio law did not recognize that until the passage of this bill," Eaton said.

While he had hoped Ohio's newest gun law would have included the so-called stand your ground provision, Eaton is happy the law will shift the burden of proof in self-defense cases from a person who fires a gun to prosecutors.

"If you're the victim of a violent crime and you have to use deadly force to protect you or your family, currently in Ohio you are guilty and have to admit to murder or manslaughter and then say, 'Yes, but,'" Eaton said. "Getting us aligned with the other 49 states and putting back innocent until proven guilty in all situations is a key part of this bill and is a huge benefit to Ohioans."

Eaton said the new law will also make it more costly for cities and towns to defy state gun laws by trying to implement local measures.

For her part, Mueller wants lawmakers to focus on measures that she says will save lives, instead of doing nothing to deter crime.

She appreciates the fact Kasich vetoed the bill, in part, because lawmakers didn't consider a red flag measure, which would let authorities remove guns temporarily from people who could hurt themselves or others.

READ MORE:Ohio lawmakers override governor's veto, pass new gun law

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