Ohio Governor Signs Castle Doctrine Bill


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Over the objections of law enforcement groups, Gov. Ted Strickland today signed into law a bill that relaxes certain gun restrictions and establishes a new “castle doctrine” for shooting an intruder in self-defense.

The legislation, Senate Bill 184, takes effect in 90 days.

It was backed by the National Rifle Association to establish a presumption that a person acted in self-defense when shooting someone who unlawfully enters his or her home or occupied vehicle. Supporters say it will protect the innocent from facing charges.

Amendments to the bill allow people to carry unloaded firearms in the cab of a vehicle with ammunition nearby and prohibit landlords from telling tenants they cannot own guns.

Critics, particularly county prosecutors, argued the “castle doctrine” could help criminals evade charges, while groups representing sheriffs, police chiefs, prosecutors and officers have expressed concerns about allowing anyone to carry a gun inside a car.

Strickland called the bill “common-sense legislation” that also will clear up ambiguous sections of Ohio's concealed-carry law.

“What we've clarified in this bill I think will go a long way toward providing both law enforcement as well as law-abiding citizens some confidence that what they're doing is, in fact, consistent with the law,” he said.

The governor also said that neither he nor his wife have a concealed-carry permit.
By Mark Niquette
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