Buckeye Firearms Association Endorses HB264/SB184; Castle Doctrine Legislation
Buckeye Firearms Association is proud to endorse Castle Doctrine legislation unveiled today by Senator Steve Buehrer (R-Delta) and Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R- Napoleon.) The Legislation introduced in the Senate as SB184 and in the House as HB264, reflects the input and hard work of many different “stake-holders” prior to introduction.
Anti-gun zealots will label this Bill a “license to murder” or “shoot first” law, as they have done in other states which have considered or adopted self-defense reform. A simple reading of this three page Bill (which can be downloaded in .pdf here or here) shows these obstructionists are lying about the content of the Bill.
This legislation is about protecting crime victims and restoring the presumption of innocence to those forced to act in self-defense.
When introducing the bill, Senator Buehrer said, "This legislation is an important step toward making Ohioans feel safer in their homes, businesses and communities. People should have every right to defend themselves without fear of prosecution."
"We all learned in school that you are innocent until proven guilty," added Representative Lynn Wachtmann. "Judges have twisted that around so that crime victims now must spend their own money to prove they are innocent. This bill will put the burden of proof back where it belongs."
Ken Hanson, Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair, continued: “This Bill accomplishes two important reforms. First, if someone is forcibly trespassing in your home or violently and feloniously assaulting you, you are legally presumed to be acting in self-defense. Second, if you act properly in self-defense, you cannot be sued civilly. What is controversial about shifting the presumption away from the victim and back against the bad guy?”
“We know from decades of crime studies, supported by the FBI Uniform Crime Reports that when someone breaks into your home, you are in immediate danger and it is reasonable to act upon that knowledge,” agreed Jim Irvine, Chairman of Buckeye Firearms Association. “This Bill simply aligns Ohio law with that knowledge.”
At least 16 states, including our neighboring states Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan have already enacted similar legislation. It is popular because it is needed has proven to be successful at helping crime victims. Many people are shocked to learn this is not already law and cannot understand why or how our laws ever got so screwed up.
Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots political action committee dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation.
Download SB184 (3 pages .pdf)
Download HB264 (3 pages .pdf)
Self Defense Bill of Rights
Media Coverage of the Announcement:
Associated Press: Lawmakers propose NRA-driven changes to Ohio's self-defense law
- Supporters of the bill provide anecdotes illustrating the need for the change, but mainly argue that it doesn't make sense to place the burden of proof on people trying to defend themselves.
In a case "where a guy purely, clearly has the right to use self defense, we've had judges say, 'No, the guy with a broken leg should have jumped out the second-story window,'" said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association.
NRA regional lobbyist John Hohenwarter predicted the issue will pass easily in the GOP-controlled Legislature.
"You don't have to be 100 percent on NRA issues to agree that people have a right to defend themselves," he said.
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland supports the legislation.
"The governor is a strong defender of Second Amendment rights and he supports the rights of individuals to defend themselves," spokesman Keith Dailey said.
Toledo Blade: 'Castle Doctrine' self-defense right proposed
- [Toby Hoover of Perrysburg, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence], said she knows of no one who has been successfully prosecuted when they truly acted in self-defense.
But Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said those who act in self-defense sometimes plead to a lesser charge and shouldn't have to face the time, expense, and effort to defend themselves.
"It's common sense," he said. "Are you going to side with the rapist criminal or the victim? Right now the law is upside down."