September 12th, 2013 By Hannah McCartney | News | Posted In: Guns, Gun Violence, Government, Governor, News, City Council, Public Policy

City Officially Opposes Proposed "Stand Your Ground" Laws

Council vote unanimous; Dayton, Canton and Toledo expected to follow suit

stand-your-ground-lawPhoto: thinkprogress.org

A unanimous City Council vote on Wednesday to pass a resolution officially representing Cincinnati's opposition to the proposed H.B. 203, Ohio's own version of controversial "Stand Your Ground" laws, is part of a statewide advocacy effort to oppose loosening restrictions on the use of deadly force.

The vote puts Cincinnati in the middle of a national dialogue that's been ongoing since the death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., in 2012. 

The bill, introduced by House Republicans on June 11, contains several revisions to the state's gun laws, the most controversial of which is the proposal to expand the circumstances in which a person has no duty to retreat from a threatening situation before using force in self-defense. Those in opposition to the bill worry that change will encourage vigilante justice and give gun owners a false sense of entitlement in using their firearms in otherwise non-violent situations.

The bill's language also loosens restrictions on concealed carry permits and would make it easier for individuals subject to protection orders to obtain handguns.

State Rep. Alicia Reece spoke at a Wednesday press conference at City Hall to support Cincinnati's formal opposition to the bill. Reece, also president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, is part of its statewide campaign to garner enough opposition to H.B. 203 to present to Gov. John Kasich and other legislative leaders. 

She says OLBC has already collected about 5,000 petitions and hopes to obtain more than 10,000 by the time the Ohio House of Representatives resumes regular sessions on Oct. 2. 

Reece and Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, who sponsored the resolution, insist that Ohio's self-defense laws are already strong enough to protect those who face physical threats from others. In 2008, then-Gov. Ted Strickland signed Ohio's "Castle Doctrine" into law, which stripped homeowners of the duty to try to retreat in threatening situations and  gives them the "benefit of the doubt" when they injure or kill a person who enters their residence or vehicle.

"While many states around the country which have Stand Your Ground laws are looking at ways in which they can repeal those laws, or change those laws, unfortunately Ohio is moving backwards by trying to implement Stand Your Ground laws, which has become one of the most polarizing issues not only in the state of Ohio, but in the country," said Reece at Wednesday's press conference

The efficacy of stand-your-ground laws to reduce violence is widely debated; several researches insist that the laws actually cause an increase in homicides. Mark Hoekstra, an economist with Texas A&M University, published a study that found homicides increase 7 to 9 percent in states that pass stand your ground laws, compared to states that didn't pass laws over the same period. His study found no evidence the laws had an effect on deterring crime during the time period. Those statistics are difficult to gauge, however, because some homicides are legitimately considered "justifiable" while others may just be the result of the "escalation of violence in an otherwise non-violent situation," he told NPR in January.

H.B. 203 is currently waiting to be heard in front of the Policy and Legislative Oversight committee. See an analysis of the bill below:

Analysis of H.B. 203
09.13.2013 at 04:48 Reply

Stand Your Ground is not an island unto itself. With Department of Corrections budget woes, gain time, lack of border enforcement and a myriad of other aspects of society, Americans are in greater danger of a violent crime than ever. Its ludicrous for Lawmakers to think they can cut public safety on one hand and minimize persons abilities to protect themselves with the other. I highly recommend the public send a strong message against any legislator who proposes Laws that diminish our rights to protect ourselves and our familes.


09.13.2013 at 02:51

What evidence do you have that crime is in greater danger of violent crime? The statistics show violent crime dropping since 1994: http://sas-origin.onstreammedia.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/ldah6rdp6ukvngoyqi1fcg.gif.

Perhaps coincidentally, that's also when the Brady Act was enacted: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brady_Handgun_Violence_Prevention_Act.


09.13.2013 at 03:41

Statistics dont mean much when its YOU now does it. I read the daily papers and thier stats dont jive with your stats.


09.14.2013 at 12:14

Well, they're not really my stats. They're from the U.S. Department of Justice, which provides the most reliable and cited national numbers for criminologists and the like.


09.14.2013 at 01:58

Well actualy you are all technicly correct except for saying violent crime is on the rise, it is not. As you have said it is the lowest in 30 years. What has changed in that 30 years? Every state now has some form of conceiled cary over 50% with shall isue laws, and firearm ownership is up by over 30%.


09.14.2013 at 04:30

The Department of Justice?? You mean Fast and Furious? The DOJ puts out stats in relation to how much money they want to spend on the issue, no more, no less. If your taking the DOJ's word for research on any issue as the Holy Grail of statistics, I got beautiful home on a sinkhole for ya here in Florida. Dont take to the bank anything that comes out of the DOJ. I trust them as far as I can throw them, along with the IRS. Stop drinking the kool-aid out of the Department of Justice. It amazes me people use them as a reliable source of information. They are not independant and they are a self serving propaganda machine whose research is in conjunction with social policies they want to implement.


09.14.2013 at 03:09
What social policies does a lower crime rate allow the Department of Justice to implement? Typically conspiracy theories rely on the government making everything seem terrible so it can justify an oppressive regime on its citizens.

The DOJ's numbers are the most reliable and cited in the United States. It's not just the DOJ who comes up with the stats, either; the numbers are gathered in cooperation with thousands of police agencies around the country.


09.14.2013 at 04:15

Take a look at sex offender policies. Take a deep look, not a google here and there to paint my picture black while you maintain its white!! I'll be waiting.


09.15.2013 at 08:59


Ahh yea border enforcement at its finest, WHEN did it become OK for a foriegn criminal aliens to chew up our citizens, spit them out and be allowed to stay in this country?