Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Ohio's legislature on Thursday approved broader rights for gun owners, overturning a veto by outgoing Gov. John Kasich.
In a rare post-Christmas session, the Senate voted 21-11 to override the veto after the House approved it 67-22 in two chambers dominated by Republicans. Kasich is also a Republican.
A three-fifths' vote in each chamber is necessary to override an Ohio governor's veto.
The bill shifts the burden of proof in self-defense cases from the shooter to prosecutors, and expands gun access in government subsidized housing and for off-duty police.
Ohio is the only state that places the burden of proof on shooters, meaning they have to prove they were acting in self-defense.
With the new legislation, prosecutors will need to prove that a defendant did not act in self-defense. Lawmakers removed "stand-your-ground" bill provisions, which eliminated the duty for gun owners to retreat during a life-threartening situation and allowed them legally to shoot.
The governor said he vetoed the bill, citing the burden-of-proof section and limitations the bill sets on cities and counties that hope to pass local gun restrictions.
"This has never been the law in Ohio; the defendant has always had the burden of proving self-defense," Kasich wrote in his message on Dec. 19. "This provision of the bill is strongly opposed by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association."
He also said lawmakers should have approved a "red flag" bill that would temporarily remove guns from people who could be a harm to themselves or others and "place them in safekeeping while the individual is evaluated." He said it is "baffling and unconscionable to me" the legislature didn't even debate the idea and noted the National Rifle Association favors red flag laws.
Also Thursday, the legislature failed override Kasich's veto of a fetal heartbeat abortion ban. The Ohio House was able to override it 61-28 but the Senate failed one vote short of the three-fifth majority,19-13. The legislation would have banned abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected.