House Subcommittee to Debate "Stand Your Ground" Today

Categories: News

Florida's convoluted gun laws are up for debate today, although not really. It kind of just felt nice to say that for a second. It's true that the criminal justice subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives will hold a five-hour hearing about Stand Your Ground, among other things. However, the discussion is only about placating a group of very upset protesters, and basically it's unlikely to do anything.

The new piece of legislation they'll discuss comes from Rep. Alan Williams, a Tallahassee Democrat. Williams wants to abolish the 2005 rule allowing use of deadly force against a perceived attacker, and revert to the expectation that potential victims "retreat to the wall." Florida common law allows people to defend themselves using whatever means necessary if they are in their own homes. The so-called Castle Doctrine isn't up for debate, then -- just the little legalistic sliver that many observers say played a role in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Nothing is expected to happen with HB4003, however. The House is controlled by Republicans, who are unlikely to accept any changes to Florida gun laws. Speaker Will Weatherford said he agreed to a discussion only because of pressure from the Dream Defenders, a group that protested the acquittal of George Zimmerman in July. After they camped outside the capitol for days, Gov. Rick Scott eventually listened to their complaints.

If the bill passes the subcommittee and the entire Florida chamber agrees, it will end up on the governor's desk.

The subcommittee will also discuss HB89, which would grant immunity to people such as Marissa Alexander, the Jacksonville woman sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot. Under the current law, anyone convicted of a felony while in possession of a firearm is required to serve three, ten, or 20 years, depending on the severity of the crime. (If someone is killed, the sentence is life.) Alexander was sentenced to 20 years for discharging her weapon in the midst of committing aggravated assault.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

The Committee just voted against any changes - kudos to them. They even rubbed it in for the losers' by passing HB49.  Some anti-gun DAs were using it to punish people who prevented a crime by just showing the weapon.  In Alexander's case, 20 years seemed excessive (not knowing her previous record), but she did deserve something as she left the scene, then came back armed. A BIG No-No, and is NOT a Stand Your Ground (SYG) issue.

That being said, here's some background for those who aren't wise to the Lefts continuing campaign against SYG:

They have been against SYG even before it was enacted as it empowered the citizen and not the State. During the debate in Florida, they set the tone by having the Brady Bunch at airports handing out flyers warning tourists not to approach locals as they might get shot by edgy Stand Your Grounders. (We are not dealing with ethical people here.)

When the Martin-Zimmerman case broke, the Left attempted to get the ball rolling to repeal the law by using their sock puppets in the media, under the smoke screen  of racism. Unfortunately for them, it backfired when the Race Hustlers got out of hand and completely overshadowed them.

The aim then, as now, is to repeal the law so liberal judges in SYG states can use the repeal as “precedence”, dismantle it in their jurisdictions or prevent it from being enacted. Al “bullhorn” Sharpton inferred that when he let the cat out of the bag, saying that if the law could be repealed in Florida, it could be repealed in other states.

All stand your ground laws do is codify a constitutional right that already exists in order to make it harder for a prosecutor to deny your right to self-defense. Those against SYG want you to depend upon the good will of the person attacking you - in effect, replacing it with OTD (Obligation To Die).

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault