Columbus man shoots to frighten dogs attacking woman reported recently that a woman was hospitalized after she was bitten on the hand by two dogs, and that she has an armed man she was walking with to thank for scaring them off before they could do more harm.

From the article:

Columbus police were called to the 3300 block of Lone Spruce Road at about 7:29 a.m. Monday to assist EMS and animal control personnel regarding a dog bite.

Police said a woman who was walking on the road was attacked by two dogs. The dogs bit the woman's hand, and a man walking with the woman discharged a firearm multiple times to scare the dogs away.

The female victim was taken to Riverside Methodist Hospital for treatment of the bite.

No word has been given if the owner of the dogs will be cited for the attack.

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson discusses warning shots in his book The Ohio Guide to Firearm Laws. Hanson points out that the key to determining whether such action is legal depends on whether or not the person would be justified in using deadly force.

According to Hanson, from a legal perspective, "a 'warning shot' is the use of lethal force.

"As long as you'd be able to lawfully use lethal force, warning shots are fine, as misses would be fine," Hanson explains. "It is the guy firing warning shots at someone stealing his truck (using lethal force in a non-lethal encounter) that is in trouble. Force is force. If it is lethal, it is lethal. So if you'd be justified in shooting the dogs, you'd be justified in shooting warning shots at the dogs."

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