National News

'Stand Your Ground' bill advances in Ohio

Posted May 25, 2018 2:00 p.m. EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Pro-gun rights lawmakers moved this week toward making Ohio a "stand your ground" state.

House Bill 228 passed out of a House committee, even though Gov. John Kasich has threatened to veto the measure. Still, the bill has substantial support from House members with 38 co-sponsors.

If and when it goes to the House floor, it will mark the first time a "stand your ground" measure gets a full vote in the Ohio General Assembly.

The bill would remove the legal "duty to retreat" when faced with threats or perceived threats in public places. In self-defense cases, the burden of proof would shift to prosecutors instead of defendants -- a provision opposed by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and supported by the Ohio Public Defender.

If it becomes law, it would:

-- No longer require places like schools, airports, public buildings to post gun-free zone signs.

-- Make the prosecution in court cases responsible for the burden of proof in self-defense cases.

-- Remove the requirement for someone to try to leave a threatening situation before using lethal force in self defense.

The bill has backing from pro-gun rights groups such as Ohio Gun Owners and Buckeye Firearms Association but it is opposed by the ACLU of Ohio, League of Women Voters of Ohio, Moms Demand Action, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence and March for Our Lives.

Laura A. Bischoff writes for the Dayton Daily News. Email: Laura.Bischoff(at)coxinc.com.

Story Filed By Cox Newspapers

For Use By Clients of the New York Times News Service