The Old West is New in Ohio- "Ohio's Castle Doctrine" (Ohio Senate Bill 184) is Now in Effect

A person’s home is now their castle in Ohio; and their vehicle is now their covered wagon. On September 9, 2008, Ohio Senate Bill 184 (aka “the “Castle Doctrine”) went into effect.

Under the new “Castle Doctrine”, if someone breaks into your home, you will now have the benefit of the doubt if you take action against the intruder, even deadly action. The new law provides an automatic presumption that you acted in self-defense and shifts the burden to police/prosecutor to prove otherwise.
Not only do homeowners not have to prove intent, they do not have to retreat before taking defensive action, and can use force greater than what they face. Under the old law, homeowners had to retreat, if there was an opportunity to so, could only use deadly force if they were faced with deadly force, and no matter what force was used, the homeowners had to justify their actions and prove they acted in self-defense.

The Castle Doctrine also applies to occupied vehicles and clears up confusion (but not without controversy) re: concealed carry permits. Now, such permit holders can transport loaded guns, or unloaded guns and ammunition, in an unlocked glove department or center console. Under the old law, unloaded guns and ammo had to be kept separate and in a locked trunk or glove compartment.

Also included in SB 184 is: immunity to self-defending homeowners from civil lawsuits by intruders; ability for non-permit holders to legally transport firearms by automobile; ability for handgun permit holders to pick-up/drop off a child in a school safety zone; and legal fees to gun owners to retrieve their wrongfully held weapons.

While the Buckeye Firearms Association wants you to call Governor Strickland and thank him for supporting the Castle Doctrine, many other individuals and organizations are upset with the new law, particularly, the new “concealed carry” provisions. Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association recently echoed the criticism (in a Plain Dealer posting by Columbus Bureau reporter Reginald Fields) by stating: “You just made it easier … to not only carry the gun, but to use it”.

In this author’s opinion, welcoming comments are in order. So, welcome back to the Old West, in new Ohio.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Good article, except for your last comment about "welcome to the Old West". Let me explain:

All of the anti gun individuals claimed when concealed carry was passed, that there would be blood running in the streets, and that there would be "wild west" shoot outs. Well, much to their displeasure, none of the above happened, squashing all of their hysterical claims.

I am a leader of Buckeye Firearms, and I am also a licensed real estate agent in the state of Ohio. The Castle Doctrine (SB184) law that went into effect last week, had all kinds of crazy claims from the antis. John Murphy from the Ohio Prosecutors Assoc. thought it was horrible that "now Prosecutors would have to prove that the victim committed a crime". Welcome to being forced to do your job Mr. Murphy. No longer is a victim called a "defendant". No longer is a victim (and their family) financially destroyed for being forced to defend their lives against the criminal element.

This is a great law that was passed. It cleaned up a lot of the grey areas with concealed carry that had the potential of turning law abiding citizens into criminials. Castle Doctrine is not a gun bill, it is self defense bill. Who could arque with that?