Simpson leading charge against 'Stand Your Ground' bill

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Council member Yvette Simpson is leading a charge against passing an Ohio House bill amending some state gun laws.

House Bill 203 would change guidelines when it comes to defending yourself with deadly force.

Simpson introduced a resolution to oppose passing the bill that was brought before council Wednesday. The resolution was supported with a 9-0 vote.

State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township), a supporter of the bill, told FOX19 these proposed changes would give more rights to citizens if they needed to protect themselves.

However, Simpson calls the bill "dangerous legislation."

H.B. 203 would amend some state gun laws, such as expanding locations where you wouldn't need to retreat before using force for self-defense.

Some Cincinnati leaders don't like the idea of these changes.

"These laws have been found to have a negative effect on deterring crime, and there is an increase in homicides in states that enact these laws," Simpson said.

Becker says the proposed changes are about protecting innocent people.

"Everyday there's shootings somewhere.  We want to ensure that the good guys do have the ability to defend themselves," he explained to FOX19.

Other Ohio lawmakers admit the state has good self-defense laws but House Bill 203 takes it too far.

"We have professionals like our police officers who are trained to deal with our citizens that are not doing the right thing," said Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati).

Becker sees it differently.

He says the revamped laws will protect people from having to justify why they didn't run away while being victimized.

"You won't have the woman that was accosted by a rapist that's going to have to defend why she didn't run away. The idea is just to give the citizens more rights to defend themselves in order to have a safer environment," Rep. Becker told FOX19.

Simpson says there are other cities in the state passing similar resolutions against H.B. 203, including Dayton and Toledo.

The bill is currently being reviewed by a House committee in Columbus.

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