Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New gun law seen as common sense by Akron folks

My story for tonight's 7 p.m. broadcast focuses on Senate Bill 184, better known as the "castle" law. Governor Strickland signed it today .. and it provides additional legal standing and backing to a home owner who opens fire on an intruder.

Think of it as getting a legal benefit of the doubt should you have to pull the trigger on a bad guy in the dark.

It's hard to believe that an intruder's family could bring a civil lawsuit against you should you be forced to defend yourself, but it's happened right here in Summit County.

Five years ago, a Summit County Sheriff's Deputy was at home with his wife when a man with a violent past who was out on parole tried to break in. The deputy eventually shot and killed the intruder, and he was later cleared of any wrong-doing by the county prosecutor. Yet, the man's family still brought a lawsuit against the deputy for wrongful death, causing the deputy tremendous financial and emotional stress in fighting in court.

This new law should prevent those types of lawsuits .. or at least, quash them faster.

I spoke with local prosecutors today who say that home owners typically get the benefit of the doubt in these types of cases anyway; gun owners I met today seemed to agree. One told me that one of his biggest frustrations from his Concealed Carry class was being taught that he could be arrested or sued if he were to actually use his weapon in self-defense.


Swanny said...

Well, the new law is a definite step in the right direction. Not only does it protect your right to self-defense, it also fixes some pretty glaring problems with the current CCW law. Believe it or not, but under the existing law, you could be arrested for having a concealed weapon in your own home if you did not have a CCW permit. So, if you kept a handgun in your nightstand or closet for protection, you could have been arrested for having it concealed, even though it was within the confines of your own home!

Thankfully, the new law gets rid of some of the crazy restrictions like that and removes the burden of proof that they were acting in self-defense from law-abiding citizens.

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