Ohio’s passage of Senate Bill 184 on Sept.
9, 2008, and of Senate Bill 17 effective Sept. 30, 2011, marked numerous
changes to the state’s self-defense laws and concealed carry laws, including
adding provisions known as “castle laws,” which have also been enacted in 47
Ohio law previously required the
victim of a home invasion to retreat before using deadly force against the
intruder; a person who used deadly force in such a situation had to prove in
court that he or she acted out of fear of serious physical injury or death.
Ohio’s self-defense laws now give
homeowners more rights to protect themselves. In addition, S.B. 184 and S.B. 17
have loosened restrictions on concealed handgun license holders regarding
carrying and renewal requirements.
Q: If someone enters my
home illegally, and I shoot her in self-defense, does S.B. 184 protect me from
being arrested for protecting myself and my family?
A: Generally, yes. Ohio’s
“castle laws” presume you have acted in self defense or in defense of another
when using deadly force against someone who has unlawfully entered your residence
or vehicle. If you were to be charged, the prosecution would have to prove that
the intruder did not enter your house or vehicle with the intent of causing
also bars criminal offenders from recovering damages for injuries they receive from
their victims while engaged in criminal conduct. You can now defend yourself in
your home without worrying that your attacker will be able to recover for
injuries incurred during the intrusion.
Q: Are there any other
S.B. 184 or S.B. 17 provisions that might affect me?
A: Yes. These bills made several modifications to the 2004 concealed
carry law. If you have a concealed handgun license (CHL), you may now carry a
loaded handgun in your vehicle. Under S.B. 17, if you are a CHL holder, you do
not have to keep your gun in a closed glove box or console box. The penalty for
failing to notify a law enforcement officer that you have a concealed handgun
license has been reduced to a minor misdemeanor.
could not carry a concealed weapon into any room where liquor was dispensed. As of Sept. 2011, if you are a CHL
holder, you may bring your gun into bars and other places where liquor is sold.
However, if you bring a gun into a bar, you are not allowed to drink any alcohol and you are not permitted to
bring a gun into any bar or other business that posts a sign banning weapons.
only certain government buildings designated in the law are off limits for “concealed
carry,” and you may now carry a concealed weapon into a building that is used
primarily as a shelter, restroom, parking facility, or rest facility—as long as
there is no sign posted that bans weapons.
The law also
decriminalizes carrying a concealed weapon in a school safety zone while
immediately in the process of picking up or dropping off children at school, so
long as the licensed holder of the weapon remains in the vehicle.
Q: How has S.B. 184
changed the rules for renewing my concealed handgun license (CHL)?
A: You are no longer required to bring a color photograph or
resubmit your finger prints when you renew. While prior law required that you
renew your license at least 30 days before it expired, the new law says that
you may renew your license any time before it expires, as long as you don’t try
to renew earlier than 90 days before expiration. Further, if you have had a
criminal conviction in the past that has been sealed or expunged, it cannot be
used to deny you a CHL.
Q: Can my landlord keep me
from having a gun if I have a CHL?
Landlords can no longer restrict or deny tenants who have a CHL, or guests of
tenants who have a CHL while the tenant is present, to keep and bear arms on
the rented premises. Also, a homeowner is not required to have a CHL to
lawfully carry a concealed weapon in his or her home.
Q: What does S.B. 184 say
about keeping an unloaded gun in a vehicle?
A: Senate Bill 184 changed the definition of “unloaded firearm”
as it pertains to vehicles. Now for the gun to be considered unloaded, it
may not have ammunition in it, nor can ammunition be loaded into a magazine or
speed loader anywhere in the car.
This “Law You Can Use” column was
provided by the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA). It was originally prepared
by Columbus attorney Michael L. Close of Wiles Boyle Burkholder & Bringardner,
and updated by Douglas Riddell and Bridget Purdue Riddell of Riddell Law LLC. The
column offers general information about the law. Seek an attorney’s advice
before applying this information to a legal problem.
Labels: castle laws, concealed carry, gun laws, self-defense