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Amidst gun control debate, Ohio self defense laws could change

Today's current political situations have, without a doubt, sparked controversy over various issues such as gun control. When it comes to owning a gun, regulations in many areas are still up in the air; however, self defense laws in Ohio have probable chances of seeing future change.

In May of this year, The Blaze shared that these potential changes would allow Ohio residents to shoot attackers in self-defense without attempting retreat. While the state has preexisting laws regarding this subject, it currently limits this course of action to individual homes or cars. The new bill would also expand to require a prosecution to prove a shooting was not an act of self defense, whereas at current it requires the person claiming self defense to establish that proof. However, there has been debate over the proposal, as the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association stresses the difficulty in requiring prosecutors to prove such actions. Meanwhile, Ohio's gun laws have shifted considerably after Governor John Kasich signed a revision allowing wider access to certain types of firearms.

As for self defense in particular, Cleveland News recognizes the ambiguity that often surrounds criminal defense cases involving self protection. When, exactly, can an Ohio resident fire a gun toward another person who they feel has threatened them? As aforementioned, choosing to use a gun in self defense is legal only in specific situations, but anyone can make a self defense claim if a trial occurs. These claims, however, come with a lot of fine print. For example, a person who witnesses someone stealing their car cannot shoot them under the state's self defense laws. But if someone witnesses a violent attack, they may shoot. Ohio's potentially changing regulations may harbor confusion, but it is clear that using a weapon in any circumstance can open the door for much uncertainty.   

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