Stand Your Ground Law Shouldn't Be Repealed, Gun Group Tells Rick Scott

Categories: Crime
In the wake of Trayvon Martin's killing, even Dennis Baxley -- the original sponsor of Florida's Stand Your Ground law and among the most pro-gun legislators in the whole country -- has distanced himself from the law by saying it shouldn't apply to George Zimmerman. Gov. Rick Scott has bowed to popular pressure to name a task force to review the law. But one gun group is lobbying hard to keep the law untouched, with a plea to its 300,000 members and a public petition to Scott.

"There's a drumbeat to cast these laws as a terrible thing," Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, tells Riptide. "We felt it was important to push back."

Pratt argues that murder rates are down in Florida in large part because of Stand Your Ground and that the Trayvon Martin case shouldn't muddy the waters of a successful piece of legislation.

"Criminals are more aware than ever that people are allowed to defend themselves using whatever means are necessary," Pratt says.

Unlike Baxter and other Stand Your Ground sponsors, Pratt argues that Zimmerman should be covered by the law. Just because he pursued Martin doesn't mean Zimmerman shouldn't be allowed to shoot to kill once his life was in danger, he says.

"If indeed Zimmerman was on his back with his head being pounded into the sidewalk, this was a justifiable homicide," he says.

In the online petition to Scott, Pratt's group warns that "Florida is ground zero in the battle to protect your right to defend yourself" and that the "anti-gun" voices on Scott's task force will call for a repeal of Stand Your Ground and other gun laws.

(Worth noting: Every single member of Scott's task force supported Stand Your Ground, and Baxley -- who wrote it -- is also a member.)

Pratt says he doesn't have any figures about how many have signed his online petition since it went live last week, but that "members of Gun Owners of America are very supportive that you ought to be able to defend yourself and will get behind this."

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Trayvon Martin wasn't the first one, he's just the first to get nationwide interest. Criminal activity prices in California haven't decreased because of this law.

Jane Wells
Jane Wells

This law should be repealed. There are already many cases that show how it can easily be abused, Trayvon Martin wasn't the first one, he's just the first to get national attention. Crime rates in Florida haven't dropped because of this law (the crime rates republicans keep citing have to do with Florida's population growth and not with Stand Your round). Actually, violent crimes in Florida had been dropping since before the law was adopted; as has violent crime rates in the entire country. But what has changed is that justifiable homicides have tripled in the state since this law went into affect, and similar trends can be seen in pretty much all the states that adopted this law. I have nothing against the Castle Law for example... but this law just serves a justification for "looneys" who want to take out a gun to solve their problems instead of thinking a situation through.

Martin Black
Martin Black

I don't think it should be repealed so much as fine tuned.  Maybe make the law more specific, since as is it is a bit legally vague.  Let's make sure the law is for the victim not the criminal


The law shouldn't be repealed. Its funny how all the looni liberals say it should be repealed but never mention what to replace it with.

Louis Bocchetti
Louis Bocchetti

Nothing’s changed here A Black thug assaulted a guy on the streets, who defended himself.One less Black thug in this world..thank you Zimmerman!


The left prefers disarmed victims to bolster their false sense of security. In the perfect gun-free utopia envisioned by the leftist media, only cops and criminals will carry guns. When seconds count, the police are always minutes away.

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