Co-Sponsorship Memos Circulating for Ohio Self-Defense Legislation

There are co-sponsorship memos currently circulating for two important pieces of pro-gun legislation, and you can help see that they get the support they deserve!

First, via NRA-ILA:

State Representatives Terry Johnson (R-90) and Sarah LaTourette (R-76) will soon be circulating a co-sponsorship memo for legislation that would modify current law to further protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners across the Buckeye State.

Please contact your state Representative and urge them to co-sponsor this important legislation! 

Included in this legislation would be the following pro-gun reforms:

  • Elimination of Ohio’s common law “duty to retreat.”  Ohio’s common law three-point test was established in State v Melchior in 1978.  This test states that an individual in imminent danger must determine that their “only means of escape from such danger was in the use of such force.”  Removing the determination of whether or not a person can retreat with complete safety provides one less thing an individual must concern themselves with in their life-or-death, split-second decision making process.  
  • Restoring the notion of “innocent until proven guilty” when acting in self-defense while outside of your home or vehicle.  This bill would accomplish this by changing the legal burden of proof back to the prosecution providing evidence against a defendant’s claim of self-defense.  
  •  Modification of Ohio’s current Concealed Handgun License (CHL) laws regarding “hands in plain sight.”  Current law creates an impossible situation for CHL holders in most police encounters.  This bill would add language that would require a licensee to still keep their hands “in plain sight” “unless impractical” or “directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer.”  Correcting this minor flaw in current statute would eliminate potential issues for licensees during routine traffic stops.

Separately, Rep. John Becker (R-65) is circulating a request for co-sponsors for his Decriminalization Effort for Eliminating Notorious Deaths (DEFEND) bill.

From a Fact Sheet Rep. Becker is circulating:

The DEFEND bill threads the needle between the rights of property owners to keep guns off of their property and the public safety attributes of Ohio’s finest citizens carrying guns. As you may know, Concealed Handgun License Holders (CHLs) are required to pass a background check, be fingerprinted, photographed, and be trained in gun safety and marksmanship. They are the cream of the crop of the citizenry.

  • DEFEND decriminalizes so-called “gun free zones” for CHL holders and has one major provision: If you are a Concealed Handgun License Holder (CHL) and are discovered with a firearm in a so- called “gun free zone,” you must immediately leave the premises upon request.

      o (I call this the jerk clause:) If you choose to be a jerk about it and refuse to leave, you are then subject to the charge of disorderly conduct.

      o Per SB 199, we changed the law to permit a “qualified military member” equivalency to a CHL. They are treated the same in DEFEND.

  • DEFEND also has what I call a revolving door provision: If the offender returns to the same premises with a gun within 30 days, the offender could immediately be charged with disorderly conduct.
  • DEFEND also has some clean-up language that was inadvertently missed in SB 199. As an example, local governments may allow concealed carry in some of the buildings under their control. DEFEND allows them to also remove the “no guns allowed” sign from the building. This provision is similar to what we might call a “technical amendment.”

Rep. Becker's DEFEND bill has already earned 47 co-sponsors. But is yours one of them?

Please click here to contact your state Representative and ask for them to co-sponsor these important pieces of legislation!

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and a NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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