Gun owners fired up over self-defense law

TOLEDO -- Criminals could be in the crosshairs under a new law signed Wednesday by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, reports News 11's Tim Miller.

Under the current law, you have to prove your life was at risk if you kill someone who tried to force their way into your home. When the new law goes into effect in September, you'll be free to fire away.

Gun owners across Ohio are fired up about the new law, called the "Castle Doctrine." You'll no longer have to prove someone breaking in is out to do you bodily harm. It will be assumed that anyone who kills or injures an intruder will have acted in self-defense.

Some folks in the area are pleased about the new law.

"Sure, I understand stealing a TV set is not as valuable as a life, but you don't know that's all that person is in there to do and you've got that right to defend your castle," says Tom Urbanski, who runs Ski's Firearms Training in Oregon.

He's also pleased the new law protects homeowners from civil suits by an intruder who survived being shot and that it extends to someone attacking you in your car. Urbanski believes the new law will contribute to a decrease in the crime rate.

"It's no longer the case where you're the crook you know you've got the gun so you know you have the advantage. Now that person you may be attacking could be able to shoot back," Urbanski says.

He does say there is one downside: He expects his sales of tasers to go down as more homeowners realize they can use deadly force.

In April, the Toledo-based Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence testified against the bill.

Executive Director Toby Hoover told us on Wednesday: "It's a message again that you can go ahead and use deadly force and I think that's the wrong message. That shouldn't be your first avenue."

Posted by KO