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Valley lawmakers push for commonsense gun safety as GOP passes so-called Stand Your Ground bill

November 14, 2018
Michele Lepore-Hagan News

Ohio House Democratic state lawmakers today voted against House Bill (HB) 228, the so-called Stand Your Ground bill, a Republican-sponsored effort to loosen gun safety standards by reducing firearm offenses, making it harder to prosecute gun violence cases and preempting local authority to enact commonsense safety protections for Ohio families.

“With ramped up hatred and divisive rhetoric across the nation, there has never been a worse time to pass a bill like this,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown). “This dangerous and divisive legislation encourages life-threatening violence instead of encouraging cooler heads to prevail.”

HB 228 would reverse Ohio’s standard of proof in gun violence cases, requiring the state to prove that a defendant was not using self-defense. In addition, the bill would erode home-rule authority by preempting local control over gun safety regulations. Finally, HB 228 reduces firearm offenses to minor misdemeanors and eliminates certain requirements for those driving with a concealed weapon.

“We live in a culture that is pervasive with violence and a culture that glamorizes gun violence on TV, video games and in the media,” said Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) “This legislation only adds to an already volatile cultural trend that escalates tensions and now will permit violence to be the final solution.”