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Bill to Repeal “Stand Your Ground” Is Filed In Florida, But May Be Dead on Arrival

| January 10, 2013

Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon Martin.

The controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law would be repealed under a bill filed this week by a House Democrat.

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The law, which allows those who feel threatened to shoot back at assailants out in public, seized the national spotlight last year with the February shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, filed the measure (HB 4009) on Wednesday.

The death of the unarmed 17-year-old Martin at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer under disputed circumstances raised questions about when and where Florida residents are allowed to shoot each other in light of the law, which says force can be met with force with no duty to first retreat.

In the Martin death, neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, has been arrested and charged with murder, but plans to try to use the “stand your ground” defense.”

After the case drew national attention, Gov. Rick Scott tapped a task force that examined the law for nearly a year, but its draft report offered few major changes.

Williams, however, said the stand your ground law has failed.

“In several cases, it’s given individuals the ability to hide behind this law, when going out and carrying out acts of violence, especially in several cases of deadly acts of violence,” he said Thursday.

Williams said the bill has no Senate sponsor yet, but several lawmakers are considering taking it on. In his own chamber, Williams will have to get the bill past Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Baxley co-sponsored the self-defense law in 2005 and sat on the Scott task force. He has often said that the law was never intended to protect those who pursue their victims.

Baxley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I’m hopeful that Chair Baxley will give this bill the light of day if it gets to that point,” Williams said.

Zimmerman’s trial is set for June. His case became something of a rallying cry for gun-rights supporters, who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Zimmerman’s defense fund.

–Margie Menzel, News Service of Florida

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13 Responses for “Bill to Repeal “Stand Your Ground” Is Filed In Florida, But May Be Dead on Arrival”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope this law stays we have a right to self defence.

  2. "My Daily Rant" says:

    I agree with Anonymous we should be able to defend ourselfs.Why should we have to run so some punk can shoot us in the back.Also I find it really funny how all these Liberal Rags keep showing this kid in pictures that are old,Do you find his gold teeth doesnt fit the picture you want the public to see.I feel bad
    this kid lost his life but he was no angel.

  3. BFisher says:

    I see you are still using a photograph of Martin taken at a younger age. Why don’t you use some of the pictures of him taken not long before his death, like some of those he posted on Facebook? I do not know all the facts in this case, so I do not know whether or not the shooting was justified or not, but I have seen the photos of Zimmerman showing the damage Margin inflicted on him and it makes an open-minded person wonder. I would hate to see the law repealed, too, based on one case and if Rep. Williams has proof that people are pursuing others and shooting them, he should detail those allegations with proof, not innuendo. The stand your ground law does not protect or legalize chasing someone down and shooting them.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      I’m sure if we posted a picture of thin Elvis we’d be criticized for not posting a picture of fat Elvis by some. Trayvon Martin got shot and killed by Zimmerman that night. Not the other way around. We’re comfortable using the iconic image of the boy–and he was just a boy–to illustrate these stories. But we’re no longer going to justify it every time we do, as we surely will again.

  4. Deanna says:

    I feel for the young man that was killed and his family, I think in this case this guy had no right to use a weapon on this young man, I feel that he is just using this “law” as a way out of what he has done. But in regards to the law it self I dont feel that it should be dropped but I do think that in order for you to shoot or to use any weapon the you would need to see that the person your in fear of has a weapon them selfs. I dont think just because your in fear you should be able to kill someone but yes if the person has a weapon and youve seen it to not take that risk you should be able to use a weapon and not to the point to kill someone but enough to either to cause the person to put there weapon down or to be on the ground in some pain. But I wouldnt say to keep shooting this person or useing a weapon in any form untill there killed.

  5. Stevie says:

    Ok, if I step back one step then blast the perp out of fear, you libs want me to believe that’s OK with you.

    The people that exploit the deaths of those children to advance their gun control agenda and attack the Constitution repeatedly need to be tried for sedition. If found guilty they should be hanged in the public square.

  6. "My Daily Rant" says:

    Oh and you compareing Elvis weight to this story makes no sence. The reason the Liberal Media
    wont post newer photos is because he tries to make hmself out to be a thug in newer photos with his gold teeth and all.And the last thing you want to do is make him look like the one who started it.Trayvon=Angel
    Zimmerman the White or White/Hispanic which ever the Media is calling him these days =Murderer.

    PEACE

  7. Only one person knows what happened the night Trevon Martin died. If I were threatened by another I would like to “stand my ground” without fear of being prosecuted.

  8. Geezer says:

    Zimmerman’s head was being bashed on the ground by Trayvon.
    I do not believe that Trayvon was trying to crack a walnut when he repeatedly
    slammed Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk.
    He was actively trying to kill Zimmerman, even though he clearly physically outmatched him.
    Zimmerman got the poop beat out of him.

    Sure, Zimmerman was being a di** that day.
    And it could all have been avoided, but…..
    I can’t ignore Trayvon’s felon-style fighting.

    A tragedy all around. But that head-slamming business tells me that the deceased
    was far from an Abercrombie and Fitch shirt-wearing good boy.
    He was a low-level pot dealer in school. And violent as heck.

    Zimmerman? Just an asshole wanting to play policeman.

    Two dopes passing in the night. One of them decided to resort to violence.
    One of them died.

  9. RNYPD says:

    It’s a good law and this case is an example of a good shoot. Trayvon did not have to attack Zimmerman, period end of story. How smart do you have to be to see that?

  10. roco says:

    Martin caused this situation.

  11. Derek says:

    I like how this article tries to make it sound like the Stand Your Ground law allows someone who feels like they’re about to get a punch in the nose to legally shoot that person to death. That’s rubbish. The law states that you can meet force with force, without the duty to retreat. So if you’re afraid of a punch to the nose, you can legally throw your own punch to the nose. Treyvon wasn’t a child – he was almost too old to be a teenager. And repeatedly bashing someone’s head into the ground is deadly force – if you don’t believe that, then perhaps I could demonstrate for you. Is this a tragedy? Absolutely. Is it fair to place the blame on Zimmerman? Perhaps not. Force was met with force that day. I think it’s pretty clear that Treyvon wasn’t defending himself when he attacked Zimmerman, but perhaps Zimmerman was defending himself when he shot Treyvon. I think we’re forgetting a time in Florida where people were being put into prison for shooting a thief breaking into our homes, which is why we have the Castle Doctrine. Good men became convicted felons for killing those whom they believed wanted to harm their wives and families – all because we had a duty to retreat. THAT’S the REAL crime. So when a 17-year-old breaks into someone’s house in the middle of the night to rob them and possibly kill them, will we want to repeal the Castle Doctrine?? If you don’t like the Duty to Retreat or Castle Doctrine laws, then please move back to whatever crappy state from up north you hail from – people like you have no idea the degree of crazy a lot of our colorful residents are.

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