After senators quickly approved the proposal, the Florida House could be poised to pass a bill that would shift a key burden of proof in "stand your ground" self-defense cases.
The House could take up the issue (HB 245 and SB 128) during a floor session Tuesday. The Senate approved its version of the bill in a 23-15 vote March 15.
The proposal, backed by the National Rifle Association, stems from a Florida Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that said defendants have the burden of proof to show they should be shielded from prosecution under the "stand your ground" law.
In "stand your ground" cases, pre-trial evidentiary hearings are held to determine whether defendants should be immune from prosecution. The bill would shift the burden from defendants to prosecutors in the pre-trial hearings. The House version easily cleared the Criminal Justice Subcommittee and the Judiciary Committee on party-line votes, with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed.