December 20, 2018

Action Alert:
Thank Ohio Governor for Vetoing “Stand Your Ground” Bill

Republican Ohio governor John Kasich enthusiastically vetoed HB 228, a “Stand Your Ground” bill written by the NRA, on December 19, 2018. HB 228 would eliminate the duty of residents to retreat from physical confrontations in public when they can safely do so, allowing them to shoot to kill. It would also shift the burden of proof in Ohio’s courts, forcing prosecutors to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that an individual who used deadly force did not act in “self-defense.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich is carving a new path for Republicans on the issue of gun control.

“New policies are needed to better safeguard those in crisis, their families, their co-workers, their classmates, their educators, law enforcement officers and the general public from the harm that we have seen happen far too many times when those in crisis have unrestricted access to firearms and have exhibited signs of causing harm,” Kasich wrote in his veto statement. Citing a number of recent shootings in Ohio, he added that it is “baffling and unconscionable” that Ohio legislators have not sent him an Emergency Risk Protection Order bill to temporarily disarm individuals in crisis.

“You think I’m going to sign a bill that gives more power to the gun folks?” Kasich said to reporters. “Are you kidding me? That’s a moral issue: gun violence.”

HB 228 also contains provisions that would: a) Reduce criminal  penalties for individuals who carry guns into prohibited locations like schools, and; b) Forbid municipalities from enacting gun laws tougher than existing state laws. Legislators in the Republican-controlled Ohio House and Senate are now trying to muster the votes needed to overturn Kasich’s veto.

Please contact Ohio governor John Kasich through one of the channels below and give him the following message (personalized to your liking):

Governor Kasich, thank you so much for vetoing HB 228, the repugnant “Stand Your Ground” bill that would place the burden of proof on prosecutors in cases of gun homicide (along with other regressive, harmful provisions including preemption of local gun reforms and protection for those who carry guns into prohibited locations like schools). I also greatly appreciate your support for enacting an Emergency Risk Protection Order-type policy in Ohio. I think history will look upon you kindly as a Republican who went against the grain and tried to get his party to do something, anything to preserve human lives being lost to gun violence. Regardless of whether or not your veto on HB 228 is overturned, you have done real good in your state and this country by vocally opposing the NRA and its minions. You have my gratitude and I want you to know I will be fighting alongside you for every single life-saving reform that is needed, ERPO and otherwise. Keep up your leadership!

Ohio Governor John Kasich
Phone: (614) 466-3555 
Email (use OH zip code for webform): or

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