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Ohio House Planning To Pass 'Stand Your Ground'

Andrey Burmakin

The so-called “Stand Your Ground” bill is likely to come to the floor of the House next week, just before lawmakers leave for an extended break. And that might not be the end of the road for that controversial measure.

The "Stand Your Ground" bill came out of a House committee last month on a party line vote. Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) leads a Republican supermajority in the House, and says it's important to his caucus to pass the measure.

“I feel comfortable in saying that there's a lot of support for that bill," Smith said.

Fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich has said he won’t sign the bill and told lawmakers not to send it to him. But Smith predicts members of the Ohio can override a veto by the governor.

“I think it's important to our caucus and obviously for an override we need 60 votes, but I believe we can get 60 votes for that,” Smith said.

But Smith says he’s uncertain of the future of gun laws reform bill introduced by Rep. Mike Henne (R-Clayton) and backed by Kasich – saying it’s caused what he calls “consternation” in his caucus.

The "Stand Your Ground" bill, HB 228, would remove the requirement to retreat before using deadly force in self defense. It also blocks local governments from passing gun control laws.

While "Stand Your Ground" is supported by pro-gun groups such as Buckeye Firearms Association, it's opposedby the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and many state public defenders - who say it "will probably result in more death."

Meanwhile, Kasich's preferred gun control bill, HB 585, is supported by student groups, teachers, police chiefs, and clergy members - but not his fellow Republicans. That bill would ban bump stocks and armor-piercing ammunition, and create a "red flag law" allowing guns to be confiscated from people deemed potential threats.