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Potential "Stand Your Ground Law" In Ohio
COLUMBUS -- In the wake of George Zimmerman's acquittal for the shooting death of a Florida teen, Ohio lawmakers are expected to begin debate on new self-defense laws.
Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law was discussed extensively in the media during Zimmerman's trial but wasn't a key component in his defense. A similar law could be adopted in Ohio.
Currently, Ohio has the Castle Doctrine, which says if you're in your home or vehicle, you do not have a duty to retreat if attacked. A "Stand Your Ground" law would expand on that., making it legal to fight back using deadly force whenever you're attacked.
The guys at PSG Quality Firearms in Beavercreek are always packing. They want to be ready to defend themselves, their friends and their family at all times. But under current Ohio law, when outside of their home or car, Ohioans have to attempt to retreat if attacked. A "Stand Your Ground" law would change that.
"If I'm out someplace with some of my grandchildren, and we're lugging a stroller and a couple diaper bags, it's not so easy to run away. It's good we won't have to run away and have the law on our side when defending ourselves against attack," said Larry Moore with the Buckeye Firearms Association.
"Stand Your Ground" opponents believe passing such a law would turn the streets of the Buckeye State into the Wild West.
"That would give people an excuse to carry more weapons on them and shoot more people and that would be bad," said John Scaccia of Dayton.
"It's 50/50 for me. You should be able to protect yourself. But at the same time you shouldn't be able to go out and do violence anywhere," said Lonni Rowe of Dayton.
Those who support "Stand Your Ground," like the Buckeye Firearms Assocation, believe the law would simply allow responsible gun owners to protect themselves from attackers without fear of legal retaliation.
"If you're walking down a street and you see someone you don't like and you think you want to pop a cap on them, that's going to be murder. That's not going to be you were attacked and in fear of your life," said Moore.
Right now, Ohio's "Stand Your Ground" bill is pending in legislative committee. Twenty-four other states currently have "Stand Your Ground" laws in place.
Meanhwhile, the Buckeye Firearms Association took a hit Wednesday morning for supporting George Zimmerman. The group's website was hacked. It's unclear when the site will be back up and running.
The association raised more than $12,000 for Zimmerman so he can buy a new gun and accessories.
Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin but the Feds have taken the gun, while the Justice Department considers bringing civil rights charges against him.
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