Crank, who said he supports the Second Amendment, added that there is a lot of misinformation about rights of citizens with and without a CCW permit.
“The whole thing is to have a gun you have to have a great responsibility.” Crank said.
The city’s law department is researching the gun issue at a bus stop. Crank said the person is clearly not concealing the weapon, but is the a bus stop considered a school safety zone where weapons are prohibited?
“There is some common sense about it. If you want to open carry while you are cutting your grass or walking the dog, that’s one thing. But open carry to a bus stop, you are going to draw alarm and you are going to draw attention to yourself. Cause alarm to the kids on the bus, cause alarm to other parents and residents," Crank said.
Middletown Police Chief David Birk said getting the word out on all elements of the law pertaining to use of deadly force, carrying a weapon and self defense is important.
“There are some gray areas, like at a school bus stop,” Birk said. “We just want people to understand the law.”
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser, who routinely takes self-defense cases involving a firearm to a grand jury for review, said knowledge of the law is essential.
“You cannot use deadly force to protect property, period. So if you see someone breaking into your car or your neighbor’s car and there is no one in the car, you ... better not be shooting at them. That is going to get you charged,” Gmoser said.
But using deadly force when you are in fear of you life in your home or vehicle is a different situation, officials said.
“If you are in the car and somebody is smashing their way into your car and you are in immediate fear your life (you can use deadly force). The Castle Doctrine applies to cars as well as houses,” Gmoser said.
The prosecutor also noted being in fear for your life is also key in justified use of deadly force.
“Castle Doctrine goes to the inside of your house, you can’t be shooting somebody from your porch, just because they step on your property,” Gmoser said. “Now, if they come through the door and you are in fear for your life, that’s different. If it is just a neighbor who’s (been drinking) and has the wrong address and you know what is happening, that might be a different ending if you decide to shoot them anyway.”