Retired TPD officer explains Ohio’s Castle Doctrine - Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Retired TPD officer explains Ohio’s Castle Doctrine

Posted: Updated:

An Oklahoma woman was recently home with her 3 month old son when two men tried to break in.  Armed with a shot gun and a pistol she called 9-1-1.

Operator: "Are your doors locked?"

Caller: "Yes, I've got two guns in my hand.   Is it ok to shoot him if he comes in this door?"

Operator: "I can't tell you what you can do but you do what you have to do to protect your baby."

The mother did shoot killing one of the intruders.  Oklahoma police called the shooting justified.  Ohio likely would as well.

It is one of 30 states with a Castle Doctrine.   That means your home is your castle and you can shoot to protect yourself.

"If you believe you're in danger and all the reasons present themselves to you that you're in danger, you definitely can defend yourself," says Whitey Knannlein, a retired Toledo police officer who teaches concealed carry courses.  "But it has to be reasonable.  It can't be a cowboy attitude."

"There might be special reasons," says Knannlein.  "You're a young woman alone, like that girl.  Or you're a handicapped person.  They think you're a victim. You're ready to be a victim, they just love it."

Christine asks, "If we can run through a few different scenarios.  What if you're getting home from the grocery store or from work and you see your door is open, someone is in there who shouldn't be in there.  Can you get in and shoot them, get them out of your home?"

Knannlein says don't go inside.  Instead, go to a neighbor's house.

"You call the police, call the police and let them handle it," says Knannlein.

Christine asks, "What if you get home and you don't realize anything is amiss and you go inside and you see someone in there?  What happens then?"

"You have to have a plan for that," says Knannlein.  "You're in danger, then you can use your gun to defend yourself."

Christine asks, "What happens when they see what you have, they see you have a gun and they start running away, they're running outside.  Can you chase after them?"

"No," says Knannlein.  "They're no longer a threat if they're running away."

Knannlein says you are accountable if you hit an innocent bystander with a stray bullet.


Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!