CHL-holder forced to defend own life after motor vehicle accident

WKW (Fox Cleveland) reported recently that an Ohio concealed handgun license (CHL) -holder was forced to use her firearm in defense of herself and others when a motorist returned to the scene of his crashed vehicle and began to assault nearby homeowners.

From the article:

Police say a suspect, who allegedly fled the scene of a single-car crash, was shot by a homeowner nearby during a violent altercation moments later on Friday.

In a Facebook post, the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect allegedly approached a man and woman who were outside their home in Violet Township and began to assault the man. The police say that’s when the woman, a CCW permit holder, showed her weapon and told the suspect to stop.

According to police, the suspect allegedly then turned his attack toward the woman. The woman reportedly gave more commands to stop before firing five shots, hitting him at least three times.

Police noted that first aid was administered to the suspect by the homeowners after he was shot. At last report the attacker was in critical condition.

In 2020, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 175, which abolished the "duty to retreat," an unfair and dangerous policy in Ohio law related to the use of lethal force in self-defense.

The law now reads as follows:


(B) For purposes of any section of the Revised Code that sets forth a criminal offense, a person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person's residence, if that person is in a place in which the person lawfully has a right to be.

(C) A trier of fact shall not consider the possibility of retreat as a factor in determining whether or not a person who used force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person's residence reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent injury, loss, or risk to life or safety.

In addition to this language dealing with criminal actions, there is also nearly identical language for civil actions.

Bottom line, if you can legally be in a place, you have no duty to retreat before using lethal force in self-defense. However, this does not change the standard for when use of lethal force is legally justified.

Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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