Ohio considers measure to modernize self-defense laws (HB541)
Rep. Stephen Buehrer (R-74) has introduced HB 541, a measure aimed at modernizing Ohio's law on self-defense. Ohio joins 22* states, including every contiguous state, that are considering, or have passed, 'Stand Your Ground' legislation.
This reform brings desperately needed change to Ohio’s self-defense laws. In many states, including Ohio, the civil and criminal burden is placed upon the victim in a self-defense encounter due to convoluted jury tests that include, among other things, a duty to retreat. The reforms introduced today place the burden back where it belongs, on the bad guy.
Victims will once again be presumed innocent.
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"Numerous constituents have come to me with the fear that they cannot protect their homes against intruders. With many states passing similar legislation, I thought now is the time for us to update Ohio's law," stated Rep. Buehrer, "People have a right and a duty to protect themselves, their families, and their homes. Protecting the people you love should never be a crime."
In the coming months, wave after wave of hysteria will spew forth from the editorial boards and anti-gun groups, who will label this measure a "license to murder." Prosecutors and police will claim that crack dealers will have a “get out of jail free” card. As always, we will see claims that road rage encounters and soccer mom arguments will now escalate into justified shootings.
This Bill does nothing of the sort. The major effect of this law is best summarized by saying the presumption of innocence is now in favor of the victim, rather than the bad guy. For an beginning analysis of one portion of this law, read Self Defense Bill of Rights Pt. 1. Then read Part 2 of the analysis and learn how "duty to retreat" has expanded far beyond the original concept of the law at the expense of your right to defend yourself and family. (links below)
The days of "duty to retreat", which have their origins in old English law during the time of swords and flintlock pistols, have long since passed from our realm, yet we still cling to their legal precedents. We live in a world of violent home invasions and senseless car jackings, not horse chases with highwaymen.
It is time our laws caught up with the times.
*As of mid-February, the states are New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, Arizona, Washington, Florida and Alaska.
Self-Defense Bill of Rights Part I