The Ohio House of Representatives recently made an attempt to pass new legislation referred to as House Bill 228. House Bill 228 is a proposed gun Bill for Ohio based around “Stand Your Ground” legislation. While this Bill would be new to Ohio, it is not new to many other states. Currently, several states in the U.S. have passed “Stand your Ground” legislation; Alabama, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, to name a few.

Typically, “Stand Your Ground” legislation allows for an individual to pull his/her firearm in threatening situations without a duty to retreat. Prior to this proposed legislation, Ohioans had a duty to retreat in most threatening situations. Under current Ohio law, individuals have no duty to retreat if they are threatened inside their house or car. House Bill 228 would allow Ohioans to pull their firearms, and use deadly force, when threatened in public situations. The use of deadly-force may be executed in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of your residence.

Although the traditional “Stand Your Ground” legislation was proposed by the House, Ohio may pass a different version of the Bill. Once the proposed legislation reached the Senate, several substantial changes were made. The Senate has removed many sections of the Bill originally proposed by the House. While the House proposed a traditional “Stand Your Ground” law, the Senate suggests continuing Ohio’s duty to retreat. In lieu of removing the “Stand Your Ground” portion of the law, the Senate proposes shifting the burden of proof.

As current Ohio Law stands, in a self–defense claim, the burden of proof is placed on the Defendant to prove his/her innocence. If this legislation is passed, the Prosecution would hold the burden of proof. The Prosecutor would now be required to prove that the Defendant’s actions were not in self-defense.

With these new changes made by the Senate the legislation will now require the approval of Governor Kasich. The Bill has until the end of the year to be passed before this session of the General Assembly ends.  If the Bill gains the approval of Governor Kasich it will be put into action in 2019.

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