The Ohio Legislature has passed a law which states that a home-owner who wounds or kills an intruder in their home is going to be presumed to have been acting in self-defense. This is known as the "Castle Doctrine". It interestingly also applies to motor vehicles.
If you have read my previous posts you will know that I am not a fan of guns or weapons in general. They have a purpose, but I am not sure that a society armed to the teeth is any safer than one where no or very few guns exist.
The previous incarnation of the law required that a home-owner prove that they were acting in self-defense. However, the new law shifts that burden to prosecutors to prove that the home-owner was not acting in self-defense. This is going to be very much a case of shoot first and ask questions later. There may be times where a home-owner acts in legitimate self-defense and other times where they do not. There would seem to be plenty of scope for a defense attorney to use the provisions to get a defendant a free pass for a wounding or death that was not self-defense but because it occurred in a home or a car then the presumption is that it was self-defense.
I wonder whether in 12 months time there might be some regret at this new law. It certainly seems to make it easier for all people to carry concealed weapons. This is likely to make the lives of some public servants such as police officers even more dangerous than it was prior to this piece of legislation being enacted.
Some of the things that citizens can now do and the protections afforded them include, among others:
• Home-owners are presumed innocent where an intruder is wounded or killed;
• The law applies to vehicles as well;
• Home-owners who rightfully use self-defense are immune from civil lawsuits initiated by the intruders, if they survive, or their families; and
• A landlord cannot evict a permit-carrying tenant for keeping a firearm on the rented premises.The land of the free and home of the brave just became a little scarier by my reckoning.