Ohio lawmakers vote to expand gun rights, override Gov. Kasich veto

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Both the Ohio House and Senate voted to override governor.

Latest developments: The Ohio House and Senate voted Thursday to override a veto from Gov. John Kasich on a gun bill that would expand gun-owner rights.

The Senate voted 21-11, the House voted 67-22.

The legislation shifts the burden of proof in self-defense cases from defendants to prosecutors, allows off-duty police officers to carry firearms and phases in pre-emption of many local firearms restrictions.

Kasich cited the latter among other reasons for his veto, along with limits the bill sets on cities and counties wanting to pass local gun restrictions.

State Senate President Larry Obhof said the bill has wrongly been roped into the national debate over gun violence, when most of its provisions bring Ohio law in line with a majority of other states.

State Sen. Peggy Lehner, of Kettering, was among Republicans who voted to let Kasich's veto stand.

"We have a gun problem in this country and we need to recognize that," she said.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley took to her Facebook page to criticize the action from lawmakers.

“The General Assembly overrode Governor Kasich’s veto of House Bill 228, stripping local governments of the ability to create and enforce reasonable restrictions on firearms in our cities,” Whaley said. “Keeping our cities safe is among our most important duties as local elected officials, and this action by the General Assembly undermines our ability to make local decisions about our communities' safety.”

RELATED: Kasich promises to veto bills he doesn't 'agree with in a deep way'

Earlier coverage:Ten months after reversing his position on gun control, Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday vetoed a gun rights bill that would have shifted the burden of proof in self-defense shooting cases from the defendant to the prosecutor.

Kasich rejected House Bill 228, even though the more controversial elements — the so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ provisions — were stripped out before the legislation was sent to the governor.

The Ohio General Assembly returns to Columbus after Christmas for final votes before the end of the two-year legislative session. If lawmakers want to override Kasich’s veto, they’ll need to muster 60 votes in the House and 20 in the Senate. Many lawmakers are expected to be out of town for the holidays.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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