Ohio Castle Doctrine Introduced


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MeanStreaker
June 14, 2007, 10:12 AM
From the Ohioans For Concealed Carry website:

Castle Doctrine Introduced
(http://www.ohioccw.org/content/view/3892/83/)
On June 14, both bodies of the Ohio General Assembly introduced necessary legislative bills that clarify self-defense laws and when it is justified for someone to protect their life or the lives of others.

Senator Steve Buehrer has put forth Senate Bill 184 and Representative Lynn Wachtmann has introduced House Bill 264. Both aim to bring a version of the nationally known Castle Doctrine to Ohio that self-defense rights activists have long worked towards. You may recall that very similar "Stand Your Ground" legislation was in the Ohio Assembly last year before the calendar expired and it was not moved upon.

The Castle Doctrine as introduced would bring two very important and necessary clarifications to Ohio law:

First, it states that the victim of a violent attack that was forced to defend himself/herself with justified means can not be pursued in civil court for any injuries suffered by the violent attacker. HB264 as written says:

A person who properly establishes the affirmative defense of self-defense or defense of another is not liable in damages to any person in a tort action for injury, death, or loss to person or property allegedly caused by the person while acting in self-defense or defense of another.

This is a long overdue attempt to legislate common sense in saying that someone who is about to kill or cause grave bodily harm can not sue for damages if they are injured while being stopped.

Second, both bills recognize a victim's right to self-defense if a violent attacker is forcibly breaking into your home or is about to cause death or serious injury anywhere the intended victim has a right to be. HB264 as written says:

Every person accused of an offense is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the burden of proof for all elements of the offense is upon the prosecution. The burden of going forward with the evidence of an affirmative defense, and the burden of proof, by a preponderance of the evidence, for an affirmative defense, is upon the accused. If the accused raises self-defense or defense of another as an affirmative defense and the accused or the person defended by the accused was suffering or was about to suffer an offense of violence that is a felony or was suffering or was about to suffer a forcible trespass upon the home of the accused or the home of the person defended by the accused, there is a rebuttable presumption that the accused acted properly in self-defense or in defense of the person defended by the accused.

For too long, Ohio's judicial system has ignored the axiom of "innocent until proven guilty" and placed the burden of proof of justifiable self-defense on the attack victim that was forced to stop a would-be murderer. HB264 and SB184 will bring Ohio law back in line with a sensible understanding of victim's rights.

Florida passed the first legislation of this kind in 2005 and anti-self-defense zealots immediately attacked the law by labeling it as a "Shoot First" law. However, they have been proven wrong once again as no state with Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground provisions has turned into the Wild West atmosphere that they continually (and incorrectly) predict. You would think they would try a different tactic after failing for so long.

OFCC Vice President Bryan Torok comments, "This legislation rolls back years of liberal court precedents where judges in revising law from the bench, have eroded law abiding citizens right of self defense. Castle Doctrine is long overdue in Ohio and we will continue to fight for it as we have for many years."

"At the end of the day what we're trying to do is make sure that people feel safer in their home, safer in their community, and take the affirmative steps necessary to protect themselves and their families," said sponsoring Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta).

Ohioans For Concealed Carry asks our members and supporters to please contact their representatives in Columbus in support of HB264 and SB184. It is very important for our voices to be heard. Ohio law needs to be changed so that the burden of proof in our courts is where it should be, on the violent attacker, and not on the hands of a law-abiding citizen that was forced to defend themselves with a knife or a rock on the ground.

Remember that this is not a "gun bill". Any opposition to this legislation needs to be reminded that they are against self-defense and the common sense rights of their constituents to protect their family.

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1911 guy
June 14, 2007, 11:22 AM
Good news!

fletcher
June 14, 2007, 12:14 PM
Good luck with that - hopefully this will spread to all 50.

Kentak
June 14, 2007, 12:32 PM
I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will be contacting my legislators. Our new Dem governor Strickland has campaigned as a friend of RKBA. Whether that extends to reinforcing the legitimacy of self-defense by supporting Castle Doctrine remains to be seen.

K

eric_t12
June 14, 2007, 04:03 PM
That is GREAT news.

It makes me feel good to see more and more states finally writing it down its okay to protect yourself or others.

FullEffect1911
June 14, 2007, 04:16 PM
This really is good to hear, I hope it passes. Does anyone know if this just currently applies to Florida and hopefully Ohio? It would be great if PA has something like this, but somehow i doubt it.

Henry Bowman
June 14, 2007, 04:31 PM
Many states have made this move to clarify the law. I'm glad to see it arrive here, though I've not yet read the bill

Both aim to bring a version of the nationally known Castle Doctrine to Ohio that self-defense rights activists have long worked towards.Exactly. Watch for the media to show their bias and call it a "gun-rights" bill. It's really not about guns; it's about self defense. Calling it gun-related simply endorses the fact that firearms are usually the best tool for the job.

"At the end of the day what we're trying to do is make sure that people feel safer in their home, safer in their community, and take the affirmative steps necessary to protect themselves and their families," said sponsoring Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta).Sorry to nit pick, but it's not about feeling safer, it's about being allowed to be safer.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ohio Castle Doctrine Introduced" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!