Ohio General Assembly Overrides Gov. Kasich's Veto of H.B. 228 [UPDATE: VOTE TALLIES]
NOTE: The contents of this article were updated as circumstances warranted.
In a historic action, the Ohio General Assembly has overridden Governor Kasich's ill-advised veto of H.B. 228. The House override was on a 67 to 22 vote. The Ohio Senate override was on a 21 to 11 vote.
Even though John Kasich used all his political power and even used political gamesmanship, he could not stop the legislature from doing the their job, and executing the will of the Ohio people.
The law contains many powerful improvements for Ohio's 4 million gun owners. Here are a few:
- Shifts the burden of proof back to the prosecutor so that you are innocent until proven guilty. Ohio is the only state in the U.S. that makes gun owners guilty until proven innocent in matters of self defense.
- Strengthens "preemption" provisions in Ohio law that prevent local governments from passing their own gun laws.
- Aligns the definition of "shotgun" to mirror Federal law to end the confusion about the Mossberg Shockwave and similar firearms that are currently legal under federal law but illegal under Ohio state law.
- Eliminates the requirement to post no-gun signs in locations which have authorized the carrying of firearms.
- Puts teeth into the law so that authorities can prosecute criminals who make "straw" purchases for felons.
We thank Speaker Ryan Smith and President Larry Obhof for their excellent leadership though a very difficult process. If it were not for their excellent management, today could not have happened.
Special thanks are also due to Representative Terry Johnson, one of the best bill managers we have ever worked with (and who is leaving the House because of term limits), and also to Representative Sarah LaTourette, who needed to carry a lot more water than a typical joint sponsor of a bill. Through a long and difficult road, they never quit working to see this bill to the finish line. (An unsung hero is Chynna Brady, aid to Rep. Johnson, who stepped into the ring in the middle of this fight and has worked more than she ever expected, overcome obstacles few aids ever see and assisted her boss at all hours of the day and night.)
Buckeye Firearms Association also wishes to thank Senators Joe Uecker and Jay Hottinger for their work in the Senate as co-sponsors of companion legislation, which turned into a lot more work than is typical of that role. Sen. Uecker did everything we could ever ask of him.
Additonally, we wish to recognize Madam Chair Kristina Roegner and Chairman Bill Coley, both of whom dealt with a host of issues in their respective House and Senate committees, and never wavered in their effort to bring the best bill they could to a vote. The hours they worked will never be known by the millions that will benefit from their work.
We also wish to thank every legislator (and their staff) who changed their Christmas season plans to be in the Statehouse today, during what should have been family time, to cast a vote and do the work that was made necessary by a spiteful, lame duck Governor. They deserve a lot better from our governor, but they rarely complained and just did their jobs. Today showed how great our state can be because of the people we have working in the Statehouse.
The law will go into effect 90 days after enrollment, or about 91 days from today. We will have a final date and further analysis on the bill soon.
Thanks to all our supporters who took the time to make your voice heard. You were heard, and today we have the result of your efforts.
Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award," the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award," and the SAF's 2015 "Defender of Freedom Award."
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"Even though John Kasich used all his political power and even used political gamesmanship, he could not stop the Legislature from doing their job, and executing the will of the Ohio people," the Buckeye Firearms Association said on its website.
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Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine said shifting the burden ensures that someone is "innocent until proven guilty… one of the pillars of our nation's legal system.”
In his veto message, Kasich said the legislature should’ve considered his “red flag law” proposal, which allows courts to take guns away from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.
“It’s hard for me to know what his reason is for doing anything,” Irvine says. “They’re two completely unrelated concepts and ideas. So why you would veto ‘Bill A’ because they didn’t pass ‘Bill Three’ makes no sense to me.”
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Joe Eaton, with Buckeye Firearms Association, feels just the opposite.
"We all grew up knowing that we were supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in the United States, and Ohio law did not recognize that until the passage of this bill," Eaton said.
While he had hoped Ohio's newest gun law would have included the so-called stand your ground provision, Eaton is happy the law will shift the burden of proof in self-defense cases from a person who fires a gun to prosecutors.
"If you're the victim of a violent crime and you have to use deadly force to protect you or your family, currently in Ohio you are guilty and have to admit to murder or manslaughter and then say, 'Yes, but,'" Eaton said. "Getting us aligned with the other 49 states and putting back innocent until proven guilty in all situations is a key part of this bill and is a huge benefit to Ohioans."
Eaton said the new law will also make it more costly for cities and towns to defy state gun laws by trying to implement local measures.
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The Buckeye Firearm Association also applauded the legislature's override of the governor's veto.
"We shouldn't put additional burdens on crime victims to prove themselves innocent. It should be up to the prosecutors to prove there was a crime committed," said Joe Eaton with the association.
The bill also strengthens gun rights by voiding any laws Ohio cities make about guns.
Earlier this year, Cincinnati banned bump stocks and Columbus passed 11 gun laws hoping to decrease gun violence.
The Buckeye Firearm Association is currently suing both cities and if successful, could be compensated for the cost.
"House bill 228 makes any municipality who chooses to disobey Ohio law responsible for court fees should they be found in violation of ohio law."
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The legislation had strong support from pro-gun groups who said this would put Ohio in step with every other state in the country. Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine said shifting the burden ensures that someone is "innocent until proven guilty…one of the pillars of our nation's legal system.”
In his veto message, Kasich said the Legislature should’ve considered his “red flag law” proposal which allows courts to take guns away from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.
“It’s hard for me to know what his reason is for doing anything,” says Irvine. “They’re two completely unrelated concepts and ideas. So why you would veto ‘Bill A’ because they didn’t pass ‘Bill 3’ makes no sense to me.”
The House proceeded to the consideration of Am. Sub. H.B. 228 vetoed by the Governor.
The question being, "Shall the bill pass notwithstanding the objections of the Governor?"
The yeas and nays were taken and resulted – yeas 67, nays 22, as follows:
Those who voted in the affirmative were: Representatives Anielski Antani Arndt Becker Blessing Brenner Brinkman Butler Carfagna Cera Cupp Dean DeVitis Duffey Edwards Faber Gavarone Ginter Green Greenspan Hagan Hambley Henne Hill, E. Hood Hoops Householder Huffman Hughes Johnson Keller Kick Koehler Landis Lanese Lang LaTourette Lipps McClain Merrin Patmon Patterson Patton Pelanda Perales Reineke Retherford Riedel Roegner Rogers Romanchuk Ryan Schaffer Scherer Schuring Seitz Slaby Smith, T. Sprague Stein Thompson Vitale Wiggam Wilkin Young Zeltwanger Smith, R.-67
Those who voted in the negative were: Representatives Antonio Barnes Brown Celebrezze Craig Dever Fedor Galonski Holmes Ingram Kelly Kent Leland Miller O'Brien Ramos Sheehy Smith, K. Strahorn Sweeney, B. Sykes West-22 The bill having received the required constitutional majority, passed notwithstanding the objections of the Governor.
The Senate proceeded to the consideration of Am. Sub. H.B. 228 vetoed by the Governor.
The question being, “Shall the bill, Am. Sub. H. B. No. 228, pass notwithstanding the objections of the Governor?”
The yeas and nays were taken and resulted – yeas 21, nays 11, as follows:
Those who voted in the affirmative were: Senators Bacon Beagle Burke Coley Dolan Gardner Hackett Hill Hoagland Hottinger Huffman Jordan LaRose Manning McColley Oelslager Peterson Terhar Uecker Wilson Obhof-21
Those who voted in the negative were: Senators Brown Eklund Kunze Lehner Schiavoni Skindell Sykes Tavares Thomas Williams Yuko-11
So the bill having received the required constitutional majority, passed notwithstanding the veto of the Governor
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