Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 10:05 AM
A collection of religious leaders, community activists and some city officials are planning to hold a rally at the Statehouse in Columbus today against a Stand Your Ground bill pending in the Ohio legislature.
House Bill 203 expands situations in which Ohioans can use force to defend themselves. It also relaxes the training requirements for gun owners and makes it easier for some low level drug offenders to get a gun license.
Akron City Councilwoman Linda Omobien is among those planning to speak at the rally. Akron is one of a handful of cities that have passed a resolution in opposition to the bill.
“We believe in joining forces with other major cities in the state of Ohio that we do not need this legislation,” Omobien says. “We don’t need this kind of law.”
State Representative Alicia Reece of Cincinnati also plans to speak at the rally. Reece says she supports the existing self defense laws on the books in Ohio, but says there’s no need to expand those laws as broadly as H.B. 203 would.
“There’s no evidence to say that our existing self defense laws have not worked,” Reece says. “And so therefore there is no outrage or call or need for a law like this.”
The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, the National Action Network and the Ohio Unity Coalition are among those organizing the rally. Omobien say she hopes the event will persuade lawmakers to either reverse or revise the legislation.
H.B. 203 currently has 16 co-sponsors in the legislature. Calls to those lawmakers for comment have not been returned.
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