Ohio bill would allow gun owners to shoot in self-defense without retreating

AP Photo/Al Behrman

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A proposed Ohio bill would mean a person wouldn’t have to retreat if they shot someone in self-defense.

Legislators in the Ohio House of Representatives have put forth House Bill 228 which would remove the requirement to retreat before a person defends themselves, others, or their property as long as that defense is taken in a place they legally are allowed to be.

Currently, residents have a duty to retreat before defending themselves if they are not in their car or residence.

The change would bring the state into line with all surrounding states.

However, not all states are following the same rules.

As proposed, the bill would force Ohio prosecutors to prove the shooting was not in self-defense.

Currently, someone who uses that defense has to prove it themselves if charged with a crime.

Kentucky also forces their prosecutors to prove self-defense was not used.

Indiana and Pennsylvania make the shooters prove it was self-defense.

The change in who carries the burden of proof, and the removal of the requirement to retreat in the proposed bill, has the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association openly opposing the bill.

The 56-page bill is currently being reviewed by the Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee.

It has two sponsors and 35 co-sponsors, including the chairman, vice chairman, and three other members of the committee.

The bill also has support from some gun enthusiasts who say, the burden of proof should be on the state because they believe that is how our system of justice works.

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