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‘Stand Your Ground’ Panel Suggests Few Changes To Florida Law
Why is this important to me?
Two dozen states have passed similar laws since 2005, and several studies show that so-called “justifiable homicides” have increased significantly in the places that have enacted “stand your ground” laws.
The result? Little, if anything, will change.
The task force commissioned by Gov. Rick Scott to review the “stand your ground” law prepared its final report Tuesday, indicating that the law is mostly fine as it is, reports the Bradenton Herald .
In a report to the Legislature, the group offered up only minor tweaks to the law — including changes that could actually make it easier to claim self-defense after killing someone.
“We reaffirm the validity of the legislation that was enacted in 2005 and the importance of the ability of a truly innocent victim to be able to stand his or her ground” if they are attacked, said Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, who helped draft the law.
The report sparked immediate criticism from gun control advocates and some lawmakers.
Ultimately, the task force’s final report asks the Legislature, the courts system and the law enforcement community to review the law further to make sure it is applied equally and fairly.
The Citizen Safety and Protection Task Force was commissioned by Gov. Rick Scott in April after Martin, a 17-year-old teenager from Miami Gardens, was shot dead by a Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer. Citing the “stand your ground” law, police originally declined to charge the shooter, George Zimmerman, sparking nationwide protests. Zimmerman was eventually arrested and is awaiting trial on second-degree murder charges.
Enacted in 2005 and backed by the National Rifle Association, the “stand your ground” law grants legal immunity to people who use deadly force if they reasonably believe their life is in danger.