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Thread: Governor Strickland signs SB184, Ohio's Castle Doctrine Law

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    Submitted by cbaus on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 22:02.


    John Hohenwarter-NRA, Gov. Strickland, Ken Hanson-BFA
    Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine, Legislative Chair Ken Hanson and several other Leaders were on hand Tuesday for the signing of SB184, Ohio's Castle Doctrine Law, by Democrat Governor Ted Strickland.

    Strickland called the bill “common-sense legislation”, and stressed that it will also 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.

    “I want to thank all parties concerned for working together to make this victims’ rights bill the law in Ohio,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA's chief lobbyist. “When you're confronted by a criminal, you don't have the luxury of time. Under the ‘Castle Doctrine’ provision, if someone breaks into your occupied home or temporary habitation, or your occupied car, you now have an initial presumption that you may act in self defense and you will not be second-guessed by the State. The ability to protect yourself and your family from harm is important no matter where you are.”

    Also included in SB184 are several pro-gun provisions that make Ohio's concealed carry laws more “user friendly”. Among these revisions include important clarifications for persons without a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) to legally transport firearms in an automobile, and pick up/drop off abilities for license holders in school safety zones. The bill also designates mandatory legal fees for gun owners who require court orders to have firearms returned to them, decriminalizes concealed carry in privately owned parking garages, allows permit holders to carry a firearm in an unlocked glove compartment or center console and removes the written test requirement for renewal of a concealed handgun license.


    Linda Walker-BFA, Gov. Strickland
    Please call Governor Strickland at 614-466-3555 to thank him for his support.

    If your Representative or Senator voted in favor of SB184, you should also call them and thank them. These calls are important so please take the time to thank those who have worked so hard in the last few months to pass this excellent piece of legislation.

    The Act will become law on September 8, 2008.

    SB184 Analysis: Significant practical improvements for ALL Ohioans

    More information will be posted here in the coming hours.

    Media Coverage

    • Columbus Dispatch - Governor signs bill protecting those who shoot intruders in self-defense


      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.
    • Toledo Blade - Ohio governor signs 'Castle Doctrine' bill despite concerns by law enforcement


      "What this bill does is attempt to say clearly that an individual does have the right to protect themselves, and I think that's the way it ought to be," he said. The new law takes effect in 90 days.

      The measure reverses current law, shifting the burden away from a would-be victim to prosecutors to prove by the preponderance of the evidence that he was not in reasonable fear of bodily harm when he used deadly force inside his home or vehicle. A legal resident of a home would no longer have a duty to retreat in such a situation.

      "It is common-sense legislation," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Stephen Buehrer (R., Delta). "It's going to make people feel safer in their homes and more able to conduct themselves in lawful ways when they go about the awesome responsibility of protecting their families."

      Ohio joins about half of the nation's states with some form of "Castle Doctrine" on their books. Representatives of the National Rifle Association and concealed-carry proponents applauded after Mr. Strickland affixed his signature to the bill.

      ...Mr. Strickland defended his support for the bill despite some law enforcement concerns.

      "I'm not particularly happy that not everybody agrees, but I think by and large it was a successful effort to get a final product that will protect the rights of people to defend themselves in their homes and their cars and also bring about some very needed clarification of concealed-carry provisions that had been enacted previously," he said.
    • WHIZ Media (Zanesville) - Gun Laws in Ohio Changing


      Local authorities have dealt with concealed carry since 2004 and believe this could clarify a lot of questions still associated with the law.

      Already the bill has done away with the issue of carrying a gun in a locked glove box.

      Colonel Bryan Hoover from the Muskingum County Sheriff's Department explains other changes, " It also permits guns to be carried in retail establishments that sell liquor, as long as the licensee isn't consuming. It permits concealed carry in a school zone, when picking a child or dropping a child off."

      The Sheriff's Department will now also honor concealed carry permits to those who've had their records expunged, where in the past they would've been denied.
    • WKYC (NBC Cleveland/Akron) - Strickland signs bill relating to concealed-carry law


      "This legislation offers needed clarifications to Ohio's concealed carry law and strengthens legal protections for citizens who defend themselves and their families against intruders in their homes," Strickland said.

      State Senator Steve Buehrer sponsored the Senate bill.
    • WKYC (NBC Cleveland/Akron) - Local gun owners see castle law as 'common sense'


      Local gun owners and prosecutors are downplaying the impact of the state's new "castle" law, but they agree that its passage supports those who resort to self-defense.

      "Makes me feel a whole lot better," said David Little of Barberton, a gun owner who vows to protect his home against intruders. "Any and all that protects my rights, I'm all for."

      ...Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Brad Gessner [said] "You are in your home. You're trying to protect your home. (With the new law) you have less fear of the ramifications of someone coming after you and suing you."

      The law extends to self-defense against intruders trying to enter an occupied vehicle.
    • WTOL (CBS Toledo) - Gun owners fired up over self-defense law


      Criminals could be in the crosshairs under a new law signed Wednesday by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, reports News 11's Tim Miller

      ...Gun owners across Ohio are fired up about the new law, called the "Castle Doctrine." You'll no longer have to prove someone breaking in is out to do you bodily harm. It will be assumed that anyone who kills or injures an intruder will have acted in self-defense.

      Some folks in the area are pleased with the new law.

      "Sure, I understand stealing a TV set is not as valuable as a life, but you don't know that's all that person is in there to do and you've got that right to defend your castle," says Tom Urbanski, who runs Ski's Firearms Training in Oregon.

      He's also pleased the new law protects homeowners from civil suits by an intruder who survived being shot and that it extends to someone attacking you in your car. Urbanski believes the new law will contribute to a decrease in the crime rate.

      "It's no longer the case where you're the crook you know you've got the gun so you know you have the advantage. Now that person you may be attacking could be able to shoot back," Urbanski says.


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    :celebrate:celebrate Excellent news!!

    I've been waiting for this ever since I read it in the paper.
    My one and only problem ,although minor, is that the law doesn't come into effect for 90 days.

    I will now have absolutely no qualms about defending myself against an intruder if he's stupid enough to come into my home with malicious intent.





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    Smiget wrote:
    :celebrate:celebrate Excellent news!!

    I've been waiting for this ever since I read it in the paper.
    My one and only problem ,although minor, is that the law doesn't come into effect for 90 days.

    I will now have absolutely no qualms about defending myself against an intruder if he's stupid enough to come into my home with malicious intent.



    When it comes to my home, family, or property, there is no Castle Law needed.

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    BFA says there's changes to vehicle transport... Anyone have the EXACT details?

    FWIW, vehicle transport is the major hangup that keeps me (and others I'm sure) from OC more often.

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    v8shoguy wrote:
    BFA says there's changes to vehicle transport... Anyone have the EXACT details?

    FWIW, vehicle transport is the major hangup that keeps me (and others I'm sure) from OC more often.

    Here is the text of the Bill. It is lengthy.

    http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/b...?ID=127_SB_184

    That presents a question for those of us who have family in Ohio but cannot CCW due to reciprocity. Ohio being an OC state with a new Castle Bill covering vehicles, does that now permit us to OC inside of our cars???


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    Samuel Adams wrote:
    v8shoguy wrote:
    BFA says there's changes to vehicle transport... Anyone have the EXACT details?

    FWIW, vehicle transport is the major hangup that keeps me (and others I'm sure) from OC more often.

    Here is the text of the Bill. It is lengthy.

    http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/b...?ID=127_SB_184

    That presents a question for those of us who have family in Ohio but cannot CCW due to reciprocity. Ohio being an OC state with a new Castle Bill covering vehicles, does that now permit us to OC inside of our cars???
    No. Until Ohio changes its reciprocity law, you might want to invest in a Florida or Utah permit. Also, Ohio's version of the Castle Doctrine is very limited--it does not cover vehicles and does not contain the clear "stand your ground/no duty to retreat" language of most other states that have enacted Castle Doctrine legislation over the llast 3 years.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Admitted to practice in West Virginia and Florida.

    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    Life Member, NRA

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    WVCDL wrote:
    Samuel Adams wrote:
    v8shoguy wrote:
    BFA says there's changes to vehicle transport... Anyone have the EXACT details?

    FWIW, vehicle transport is the major hangup that keeps me (and others I'm sure) from OC more often.

    Here is the text of the Bill. It is lengthy.

    http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/b...?ID=127_SB_184

    That presents a question for those of us who have family in Ohio but cannot CCW due to reciprocity. Ohio being an OC state with a new Castle Bill covering vehicles, does that now permit us to OC inside of our cars???
    No. Until Ohio changes its reciprocity law, you might want to invest in a Florida or Utah permit. Also, Ohio's version of the Castle Doctrine is very limited--it does not cover vehicles and does not contain the clear "stand your ground/no duty to retreat" language of most other states that have enacted Castle Doctrine legislation over the llast 3 years.
    It figures.

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    There is some vehicle coverage.

    For freedom from "duty to retreat" you will be covered in your own vehicle or the vehicle of an immediate family member.

    (B) For purposes of any section of the Revised Code that sets forth a criminal offense, a person who lawfully is in that person's residence has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person's residence, and a person who lawfully is an occupant of that person's vehicle or who lawfully is an occupant in a vehicle owned by an immediate family member of the person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense or defense of another.


    For presumption of innocence, as long as you are in any vehicle lawfully, you will be covered.

    (B)(1) Subject to division (B)(2) of this section, a person is presumed to have acted in self defense or defense of another when using defensive force Sub. S. B. No. 184 127th G.A.5 that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the process of unlawfully and without privilege to do so entering, or has unlawfully and without privilege to do so entered, the residence or vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force.

    (2)(a) The presumption set forth in division (B)(1) of this section does not apply if the person against whom the defensive force is used has a right to be in, or is a lawful resident of, the residence or vehicle.
    The definition of "vehicle" is so broad, I think it covers bicycles and wheel chairs.

    (4) "Vehicle" means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, that is designed to transport people or property.

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    RT84 wrote:
    There is some vehicle coverage.

    For freedom from "duty to retreat" you will be covered in your own vehicle or the vehicle of an immediate family member.

    (B) For purposes of any section of the Revised Code that sets forth a criminal offense, a person who lawfully is in that person's residence has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person's residence, and a person who lawfully is an occupant of that person's vehicle or who lawfully is an occupant in a vehicle owned by an immediate family member of the person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense or defense of another.


    For presumption of innocence, as long as you are in any vehicle lawfully, you will be covered.

    (B)(1) Subject to division (B)(2) of this section, a person is presumed to have acted in self defense or defense of another when using defensive force Sub. S. B. No. 184 127th G.A.5 that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the process of unlawfully and without privilege to do so entering, or has unlawfully and without privilege to do so entered, the residence or vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force.

    (2)(a) The presumption set forth in division (B)(1) of this section does not apply if the person against whom the defensive force is used has a right to be in, or is a lawful resident of, the residence or vehicle.
    The definition of "vehicle" is so broad, I think it covers bicycles and wheel chairs.

    (4) "Vehicle" means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, that is designed to transport people or property.
    Just for clarification, can a firearm be kept in the passenger compartment of a vehicle, either loaded or unloaded? This Castle Bill doesn't have any teeth ifa non-permit holdercan't be protected in his own car. I may be traveling to Ohio to see family in August and I don't have the time for a Florida, Utah, or Virginia permit. I can OC any other time.

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    Samuel Adams wrote:
    Just for clarification, can a firearm be kept in the passenger compartment of a vehicle, either loaded or unloaded? This Castle Bill doesn't have any teeth ifa non-permit holdercan't be protected in his own car. I may be traveling to Ohio to see family in August and I don't have the time for a Florida, Utah, or Virginia permit. I can OC any other time.
    No. Ohio Revised Code § 2923.16 regulates in detail precisely how a firearm may be legally transported in a vehicle. Section 2923.11 provides many definitions applicable to Ohio's weapons laws.

    Until SB 184 takes effect on September 8, 2008, the current law is in effect.

    One of the biggest problems in CHL or a CHL issued by a reciprocal state is that various court decisions and police policies have rendered it impossible to transport in the same vehicle, regardless of the degree of physical separation, both a firearm and ammunition capable of being discharged from that firearm. SB 184, which does not take effect until September 8, provides a partial fix for that problem. Similarly, the Firearm Owner's Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 926A (for definitions, see 18 U.S.C. § 921), lacks a clear definition for an unloaded firearm that is not helpful for your situation.

    The Buckeye Firearms Association's analysis of SB 184 contains information about the horrible state of the current law on firearm transportation in vehicles.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Admitted to practice in West Virginia and Florida.

    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    Life Member, NRA

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    WVCDL wrote:
    Samuel Adams wrote:
    Just for clarification, can a firearm be kept in the passenger compartment of a vehicle, either loaded or unloaded? This Castle Bill doesn't have any teeth ifa non-permit holdercan't be protected in his own car. I may be traveling to Ohio to see family in August and I don't have the time for a Florida, Utah, or Virginia permit. I can OC any other time.
    No. Ohio Revised Code § 2923.16 regulates in detail precisely how a firearm may be legally transported in a vehicle. Section 2923.11 provides many definitions applicable to Ohio's weapons laws.

    Until SB 184 takes effect on September 8, 2008, the current law is in effect.

    One of the biggest problems in CHL or a CHL issued by a reciprocal state is that various court decisions and police policies have rendered it impossible to transport in the same vehicle, regardless of the degree of physical separation, both a firearm and ammunition capable of being discharged from that firearm. SB 184, which does not take effect until September 8, provides a partial fix for that problem. Similarly, the Firearm Owner's Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 926A (for definitions, see 18 U.S.C. § 921), lacks a clear definition for an unloaded firearm that is not helpful for your situation.

    The Buckeye Firearms Association's analysis of SB 184 contains information about the horrible state of the current law on firearm transportation in vehicles.
    Thanks for the info. It appears that in respect to vehicles, Ohio's new Castle Bill has no teeth. Even as a former LEO, private property rights should trump officer safety.

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    I'm not entirely satisfied with this, regarding non-permit holders in vehicles. You can have an unloadedgun and ammo in a car, but magazines and speed loaders must be empty. This does not adequately protect people in cars. We're all going to have to get permits to make this work. It's a marginal improvement over the status quo, but not great.

    -ljp

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    I thought you guys were talking about the concept of "Castle Doctrine", not how to transport a firearm in a car in the state of Ohio. Initially, the Castle Doctrine bill had nothing whatsoever, to do with firearms. The gun law changes were tacked on at the last minute (so to speak).

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    Well, it was a package deal. They thought it would be timely to address deficiencies in the transport laws at the same time, since this deals with gun rights at least obliquely, vis self-defense, which may involve your car. Ohio doesn't have any specific anti-carjacking law (it's subsumed under robbery and kidnapping).

    -ljp

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    So... This is how I understand it:

    My current method of transport is pistol in trunk, mags in center console. This will be illegal under the new law. (Loaded mags nowhere in the vehicle). I guess I'll just throw my XD at the guy who car-jacks me, maybe it'll confuse him long enough for me to get away. I'm SO glad they fixed the bad law then jacked it up again in a different spot.

    I'm assuming this is for "officer safety" or something like that. Law-abiding citizens are no threat to LEO regardless of their weapon's status, be it green, amber, or red. Criminals aren't going to care. Period. It's another felony to tack on to a criminal's rap sheet with the felony they get caught in. For Joe Citizen it's a great way to accidentally lose one's reputation, job, vehicle, and Second Amendment rights.

    Legba, would you still have been between a rock and a hard place with this new law?

    Is it just me or did OC just become more of a PITA for those who choose to not have a permit?



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    Yeah... In fact, the state would have had a better case against me if this law were in effect when I got pinched. I did have loaded mags in the car (van), which were not explicitly prohibited before.

    -ljp

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    I agree that they futzed up the non-license carry.

    As it stands now, you can put the unloaded pistol in plain view on your passenger seat, slide locked back, and keep a loaded mag in your pocket or somewhere else nearby. That would make self-defense a possibility, at least.

    Under the new law, you can no longer have a loaded mag accessible. I don't know how this was seen as acceptable by BFA.

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    You'll get busted under the current law with that setup. Having a loaded mag in your pocket and the gun in arms reach makes them mutually "at the ready" and a CCW violation. That'd be a lot more clear-cut than my case was. They wouldn't have dropped it to a misdemeanor if they had that much on me.

    That's the real problem here - there are two separate, and potentially contradictory laws that apply when transporting firearms. You would be legal under the 2923.16 transport law, which doesn't mention ammunition at all, but you'd be in violation of 2923.12, carrying a concealed weapon, even though you were transporting it and not "carrying" as such. At least they have removed much of this ambiguity, even if it's more restrictive for certain people.

    -ljp

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    Legba, actually the method I described above was cited as a valid, legal way to carry under the current law by one of the Justices of the OSC in a recent decision.

    It would not fall under the concealed statute because, obviously, the handgun would not be concealed--it is in plain view on the seat.

    Now, if you have the pistol in a case like you did, then it would fall under 2923.12. But having it in plain view, or in a rack or holder, keeps you completely within 2923.16.

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    You are correct. I glossed over the "plain view/action open" part of your post. Ironically, one of the "preferred" ways of transporting a gun per 2923.16 is in a case - which then renders it "concealed" and a violation, with ammo in proximity. The State Supreme Court admitted that whereas it was not preferable to have people with guns out in the open like that,it did conform to the law as written.

    -ljp

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    I vote that we call the revised ORC section regarding transport (unloaded mags) "Legba's Law" I think it kind of has a ring to it.


    Suppose I secure my mags in a clear plastic baggie and hang them out the window/sunroof. Would this be a violation of the new law? I'm not planning on doing this, but I'm trying to think outside the box (and of the car).

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    Try to think outside the cellblock. They'll bust you if they can. And I don't really want to be a poster child, but that does have a ring to it...

    -ljp

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