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ABC 6 TOWN HALL: 'Stand Your Ground' Law Proposed in Ohio
COLUMBUS (Chris Vanocur/Ken Hines) -- On September 24, ABC 6 will present a special town hall meeting about the presence and use of guns in Ohio.
The meeting will focus on the proposed House Bill 203 -- sometimes called Ohio's "stand your ground" law.
At the heart of HB 203 is the question: When is it proper for a person to defend his or herself using deadly force?
In Ohio, according to OSU law professor Joshua Dressler, "If there is a place the person can retreat to safely, they're expected to do that rather than kill."
If an intruder enters an Ohioan's home, however, state law allows for the use of what is called the "castle defense."
"It's your sanctuary, it's your fortress," Dressler said. "If somebody breaks into your fortress, you can kill."
Dressler feels HB 203 would make significant, expansive changes to Ohio law, including allowing the same use of deadly force in public as when protecting a home.
"Basically, what 203 would do is make everywhere in the world equivalent to the castle," he said.
While Dressler has some concerns about HB 203, he welcomes this self-defense debate.
"Forcing all of us to think about the question of human life, and what's the best way to deal with aggressions that might take place, is a good thing," he said.
Professor Dressler also said there's an exception to Ohio's current gun law that allows someone in their car to protect themselves much like they would in their home.
The ABC 6 town hall is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the OSU Union.