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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
State Rep. Mike Ashford and others in Toledo are standing up in opposition to House Bill 203.
One provision in the bill is commonly referred to as "Stand Your Ground," which was at the center of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin controversy in Florida. The measure says a person would not have a duty to retreat before using force in self-defense in any public place in Ohio.
"Castle Doctrine says you can defend yourself against illegal force in your home or your car. It expands that if you feel threatened anywhere, you can defend yourself and use force," explained Ashford.
Pastor Talmadge Thomas with Mt. Zion Church fears if Stand Your Ground becomes law in Ohio, it will lead to more gun violence.
"I think we have enough laws in place without expanding on the Castle Doctrine. It is sufficient. I think the element that would use it in a negative way would take advantage of the expansion," said Thomas.
Toledo City Council will consider a resolution to oppose H.B. 203. Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson says Stand Your Ground is not her only concern with the proposed legislation.
"To relax the laws in such a way that a person who might not qualify in the State of Ohio can go to another state, get a gun, bring it here and be legal - it's serious and problematic to me," said Hicks-Hudson.
A town hall meeting is scheduled for Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at Mt. Zion Church, located at 701 Vance Street. Opponents of H.B. 203 will be collecting signatures in case it becomes law, and a referendum is needed to place the issue on the ballot.