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by Andrew Branca
Of the 50 states in the US, 49 of them require the State to disprove a defendant's claim of self-defense, beyond a reasonable doubt. Ohio, on the other hand, requires that the defendant prove self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence. Why is Ohio Such an Odd Duck on the Burden of Proof for Self-defense? To understand this curiosity it is necessary to cover a little history and to really understand what is meant by the phrase "burden of proof." Let's do them in reverse order.
Most of us know the phrase "burden of proof" from our understanding—borne of movies and TV dramas—that the prosecution bears the burden of proof to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
And that's true. But it also a very superficial understanding of how the law actually allocates the "burden of proof." So, let's dig a bit deeper.
The burden of proof actually involves two separate elements. The burden of production, and the burden of persuasion.
The Burden of Production
by Kelsey Osterman
By now, you've heard the stories: Florida boy suspended for pointing his finger like a gun. Rhode Island student suspended for bringing quarter-sized gun keychain to class. West Virginia middle schooler arrested for wearing a National Rifle Association t-shirt.
Coast-to-coast, it seems our nation's schools have grown so gun-shy that every implementation of a "zero tolerance" policy entails a massive overreaction on the part of the school.
It's gotten so bad that one member of Congress, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), actually introduced legislation to prevent schoolchildren from being punished for "harmless expressions of childhood play" like using an imaginary gun.
Even Ohio state Sen. Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) proposed legislation earlier this year that would overturn the Buckeye State's law that requires schools to adopt zero tolerance policies.
"We're looking at using common sense," Tavares told The Columbus Dispatch. "A gun-shaped edible snack is not a weapon. Children bringing Midol or their own medications for their illness is not drugs."
To the Editor: OACP's "sky is falling" rhetoric hasn't proven true before, so why listen to them now?Submitted by cbaus on December 3, 2013 - 4:00pm.
The following letter to the editor of the Akron Beacon-Journal was written in response to that newspaper's editorial calling on legislators to support HB 203 (Concealed Carry & Self-Defense Law Reform) because of opposition from John Gilchrist, representing the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.
The editorial board noted that Gilchrist "emphasized that changing current Ohio law would be an invitation to trouble."
Following is the response written by Buckeye Firearms Association's Chad Baus, as published on November 26:
A Nov. 15 editorial ("Advice to retreat") cited testimony by John Gilchrist, legislative counsel to the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, in its reasons for encouraging legislators not to support House Bill 203, which would eliminate Ohio's "duty to retreat" from a life-threatening encounter.
by Chad D. Baus
During debate on Ohio's original concealed carry law a decade ago, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, controlled by then-Gov. Bob Taft (R), voiced opposition to any law that would allow citizens a legal way to carry a concealed handgun in a motor vehicle.
On February 13, 2003, OSHP spokesperson John Born was quoted as saying "We do not want a loaded firearm readily accessible to the driver of a car. If there's a dangerous situation and you're in your car, you can drive off."
Pro-CCW activists actually started keeping a victim count of all the people who tried to follow his ridiculous advice - and coined a term for what often happened to people who tried to just "drive off" when attacked. We called it "getting Borned."
During the lengthy fight against Born, the OSHP and Taft to get passage of the bill that finally brought concealed carry to the Buckeye State (HB12), at least two men died (see here and here) trying to follow Born's advice.
by Greg Sowinski
LIMA — When Ohio first licensed citizens to carry a concealed handgun nearly 10 years ago, then U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine was a little skeptical.
He wasn't so sure it was a good idea.
But after nearly 10 years of concealed carry not only has DeWine, the current Ohio Attorney General whose office oversees the program, changed his mind but he became a supporter. He’s also a licensed concealed carrier.
"People are just more comfortable with it and it's much more accepted that people can have a concealed carry permit," DeWine said during a visit this week in Lima. "It's much more mainstream then it was when it started."
Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish agreed.
‘Saddam Hussein’ and ‘Osama Bin Ladin’ among those who signed anti-self-defense rights petition opposing HB 203Submitted by cbaus on November 22, 2013 - 4:00pm.
by David Codrea
A public records request by Gun Rights Examiner to review 10,000 signatures opposing adoption of a "Stand Your Ground" bill (H.B. No. 203) -- reportedly submitted by the Ohio Black Legislative Council to Gov. John Kasich -- was answered when a compact disc containing the information arrived in Thursday's mail.
"Is the complete and unredacted petition with all 10,000 names a public record that we as citizens have a right to see?" this correspondent publicly asked the governor on Oct. 3. "Will you make it available for public scrutiny?"
The request was partially answered.
"Please find the records responsive to your request," the Assistant Chief Counsel for the Office of the Governor advised in his cover letter. "Please note, there are items, clearly indicated in black, that have been redacted. These items represent personal information that does not fall within the statutory definition of record."
by Chad D. Baus
Recently, a very interesting document began making its rounds through the gun rights community after having been leaked online.
Entitled "Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging," it is an 80-page playbook designed to help anti-gun rights extremists learn why they continue to get beat, and how to change their message so as to fool the general public into thinking their mainstream views are actually supported by these anti-gun rights extremist groups.
[Editor's Note: This article was updated as additional information became available.]
Concealed Carry Law Reform Bill Closer to Governor's Signature
COLUMBUS, OH - HB 203 sponsored by Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), a bill that seeks to update Ohio's concealed carry program, has passed the Ohio House with a 63 - 27 vote, and will now be forwarded to the Ohio Senate for consideration.
HB 203 has significant support as shown by the overwhelming House vote. Buckeye Firearms Association and the NRA have both endorsed the legislation, which seeks to make many improvements to Ohio's concealed carry laws.
The bill would strengthen the background checks required to obtain an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Under the bill, Ohio CHL applicants would need to pass a NICS-compliant background check (National Instant Check System), making it compatible with more states. This improvement will also help prevent people with mental health disqualifiers who have been entered into the federal database from obtaining a CHL.
The bill would also move Ohio to an automatic reciprocity system, relieving the Attorney General from the requirement to sign agreements with every state for reciprocity. The Attorney General would still be permitted to sign agreements if needed, but the bill seeks to streamline the process and open up agreements with states such as Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Georgia with which Ohio does not currently have agreements.
"Reciprocity remains a critical issue for people with a CHL," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association. "Background checks have been a hot topic since the Newtown killings, and ours has some issues that should be addressed. This bill makes sure people with disqualifying offenses are not issued CHL's. This is something everyone should be happy about."
Ohio's Concealed Carry & Self-Defense Law Reform (HB 203) scheduled for vote in House; BFA offers testimony on two pro-gun billsSubmitted by cbaus on November 20, 2013 - 8:00am.
by Chad D. Baus
Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder (R) has scheduled House Bill 203 for a vote in the House today, Wednesday, November 20.
The move comes after the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee passed the bill yesterday on a bi-partisan 9 - 4. Click here to see how they voted.
Buckeye Firearms Association leaders are in Columbus this week offering testimony on this and other pro-gun legislation.
Before the committee vote, BFA Legislative Chair Ken Hanson testified on HB 203, which seeks to make many improvements to Ohio's concealed carry laws. His testimony follows.
November 19, 2013
Testimony of Ken Hanson Esq.
Legislative Chair, Buckeye Firearms Association
Ohio General Assembly 130 House Bill 203
Peaceably carrying a gun is not disorderly conduct.
by Chad D. Baus
The House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee has passed House Bill 203 with a bi-partisan 9 - 4 vote.
Voting for the bill were Representatives Mike Dovilla (R, Committee Chairman), John Adams (R) Jim Buchey (R), Louis Blessing III (R), Andrew Brenner (R), Jack Cera (D), Matt Huffman (R), Dorothy Pelenda (R) and Rick Perales (R).
Voting against the bill were Representatives Kathleen Clyde (D), Michael Curtin (D), Teresa Fedor (D) and Ronald Gerberry (D).
Before the vote, Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson offered proponent testimony.