breaking news

Use of dating website led to capture of fugitive soccer coach in Florida

Stand Your Ground gun bill dead in Ohio for now; issue may come back next year


New developments: The Ohio Senate will not take up a controversial Stand Your Ground gun bill, killing the bill for the current legislative session.

Gov. John Kasich had threatened to veto the bill if it passed.

Lawmakers can bring the issue back in January with the new legislature and Gov.-elect Mike DeWine take office.

Earlier story from Dec. 6: Facing a veto threat from Gov. John Kasich, state senators on Thursday backed off a plan to pass a so-called Stand Your Ground gun rights bill and voted 19-10 in favor of a vastly scaled back bill.

Under current law, Ohioans have a duty to retreat before using deadly force when facing a serious threat in public. That won’t change under the legislation — unlike typical Stand Your Ground laws, which remove that language.

Kasich has said he opposes Stand Your Ground legislation and instead favors what he considers to be reasonable gun restrictions.

Related: Kasich proposes major changes to Ohio gun laws

Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association said the amended bill is a compromise that accomplishes multiple goals.

“The Buckeye Firearms Association and NRA, we will be back next session to work on the duty to retreat stuff. We think that is important,” Irvine said.

Related: Ohio House passes ‘stand your ground’ bill

Sen. Bill Coley, R-West Chester, and the chairman of the Senate Government Oversight Committee, said, “it’s a better bill” but that “no one is getting everything they want.”

“I think the Rolling Stones would be happy,” he quipped, referrring to the rock group’s hit song.

State Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, opposed the bill, saying it fails to address the issue of gun violence. “So far the response of this body has been to do nothing about that. Even the most simple, common sense measures have been rejected by this body.”

Lehner and state Sens. Stephanie Kunze, R-Hilliard, and John Eklund, R-Chardon, joined Democrats in voting against the bill. State Sens. Steve Wilson, R-Mainville, and Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, voted in favor.

The amended bill will align Ohio law with 49 other states when it comes to the burden of proof in self-defense cases. Currently, Ohio law requires the defendant claiming self-defense to prove it. House Bill 228 would shift that burden of proof to the prosecution to show the defendant did not act in self-defense.

The bill also adopts the federal definition of a sawed-off firearm, bars straw-man purchases of guns and allows off-duty police officers to carry concealed weapons.

Related: Sheriff won’t charge man in deadly parking lot shooting

Senators also stripped out of the bill a provision that would have prohibited subsidized housing agencies from blocking tenants from having firearms. The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio testified that that provision would have prohibited reasonable firearms restrictions in facilities that serve tenants with severe and persistent mental illness and or cognitive disabilities.

Richele O’Connor of Moms Demand Action, which favors gun restrictions, said “Are we happy? We’re half-happy.”

She noted that the group will continue to advocate for a “red flag” bill that would allow law enforcement and family members to petition for a court order to remove weapons from a loved one who seems to be at risk of harming themselves or others.

State Sen. Cecil Thomas, D-Cincinnati, a former police officer, tried unsuccessfully to roll provisions of the red flag bill into HB228. His fellow senators voted 19-10 to table that amendment.

The changes to the bill still need House approval before the legislation is sent to the governor for consideration.



Reader Comments


Next Up in Local

Wreaths Across America day observed to remember, honor veterans
Wreaths Across America day observed to remember, honor veterans

Wreaths Across America day was observed Saturday at several cemeteries in the Miami Valley. Nearly 300 holiday wreaths were placed on graves of veterans today at the Greenville Union Cemetery in Darke County, according to News Center 7’s Northern Bureau Chief Steve Baker. This program started in 1990, and by 2005 the day was observed nationwide...
I-675 crash causes backup in Beavercreek
I-675 crash causes backup in Beavercreek

The crash was cleared on I-675 southbound in Beavercreek. We are working to learn the cause. A crash on Interstate 675 southbound has caused a backup in Beavercreek Saturday. The crash was reported near the Indian Ripple Road exit sometime after 1 p.m.  It’s not known how many vehicles were involved or if anyone was injured. There was a...
West Chester hotel thief a good tipper
West Chester hotel thief a good tipper

Someone used a fictitious credit card number to rent a room and charge meals at the West Chester Twp. Hilton Garden Inn. More than $2,500 was charged to a fake credit card sometime before 4 p.m. Dec. 3 at the hotel, according to police reports. Township spokeswoman Barb Wilson said the thief was a good tipper. “With the food purchase, the suspect...
Crews respond to camper fire in Logan County
Crews respond to camper fire in Logan County

Crews responded to a camper fire in the 4900 block of State Route 287 in West Liberty Saturday around 12:20 p.m., according to dispatchers. Initial reports indicated there was ammunition and propane at the location. Dispatchers could not confirm if anyone was injured.  We are working to learn more and will update this page as information becomes...
Officer: Books ‘just as vital as Narcan’ for first responders
Officer: Books ‘just as vital as Narcan’ for first responders

It’s hard to know what impact a traumatic event can have on a child, but Jana Gruber has learned a small gift can make a big difference. Gruber is the founder of Books to the Rescue, a Greene County nonprofit organization that is providing children’s books, games and stuffed animals for dozens of police cruisers, fire engines and life squads...
More Stories