Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Castle Doctrine Comes to Ohio

Tomorrow, September 9th, 2008, the state of Ohio will enact a version of the Castle Doctrine regarding firearms use in protecting life and home. The doctrine is based upon the belief that a person's home is a person's castle.

The law will state that a person using force against an intruder in the home or car is presumed to act in self-defense. Second Amendment advocates believe the law is "a long time coming."
Currently, if a criminal case comes from such an incident, the person who used force must prove it was self-defense.

Under the Castle Doctrine -- already in effect in several states and named for the centuries-old theory that a person must protect his or her property (or castle) -- it will be the prosecutors' job to prove it wasn't self-defense, which all admit is a much more difficult task.

"Right now, if someone breaks into your house tonight and waves a knife at you and you shoot them, you have to prove their intent," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a state gun rights advocacy group.
Although using deadly force to protect one's life and property is ages-old, a specific law is needed to prevent lawyers from prosecuting everyone who committed the act of self-preservation.

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