Stand Your Ground

Why Changing Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' Law Remains Elusive

Oct 9, 2013

Prompted by a national outcry over George Zimmerman's acquittal this summer in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a Florida Senate committee gave approval Tuesday to minor changes in the state's "stand your ground" law.

But whether a Legislature dominated by gun-loving lawmakers will ultimately sign off on a bipartisan compromise remains a long shot, despite a seemingly indifferent National Rifle Association, which helped write Florida's first-in-the-nation law.

The law's 2005 sponsor, Sen. David Simmons, defended the current law while conceding it could be better.

The Stand Your Ground law will get hearings when the Florida Legislature convenes for regular business next month.

But no significant changes in the law are expected.

Lawmakers voted against holding a special session on Stand Your Ground after protesters staged a month-long sit-in at the Capitol.

Democrats Trigger Lawmaker Poll On Stand Your Ground Special Session

Aug 13, 2013
Bar Jack/Flickr

The Florida Secretary of State's office will begin polling members of the Legislature to find out if there is enough support to hold a special session to decide the fate of the state's controversial "stand your ground" law.

Florida Sheriffs: Keep 'Stand Your Ground' As Written

Aug 9, 2013
Gerardo Mora

The Florida Sheriffs Association is no longer neutral on the state's controversial "stand your ground" law.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, the new president of the association, announced Friday that members agreed earlier this week without opposition to support the law "as currently written."

"Our current judicial system is comprised of multiple checks and balances to ensure fair and equitable application of all laws, including 'stand your ground,' " Judd said in a prepared statement.

Florida House To Hold Hearing On 'Stand Your Ground'

Aug 2, 2013

A House subcommittee will look into the state's controversial "stand your ground" law, but its chairman said he doesn't intend to support any changes.

House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, has directed Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chairman Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, to hold a hearing on the law during a committee week this fall.


The calls to boycott Florida grew louder and more widespread on Friday after Gov. Rick Scott reiterated his support for the broad self-defense law that was key to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case.

Scott told demonstrators occupying the state capitol on Thursday that he will not submit the Stand Your Ground law to a special legislative session for revisions despite demands by activists, elected leaders and at least one prosecutor earlier in the day.

How The Zimmerman Verdict Was Decided

Jul 19, 2013

Days after the jury’s decision, South Florida – and the nation – still struggles to understand the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin. 

Was it Stand Your Ground or other self-defense laws that determined the outcome?  One juror who spoke with CNN said:

Tampa Bay Times

The Stand Your Ground law was in the instructions given to the jury (page 12), which acquitted George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. But it was among a list of laws in the instructions.

We're covering reactions to the Seminole County jury's decision to acquit George Zimmerman.  

Tell us what you think by calling (305) 330-WLRN (9576) or tweet us @WLRN. We'll also be updating this page.  

After The Verdict: A WLRN Radio Special Report

Jul 14, 2013

Not guilty. That was the verdict reached Saturday night by an all-female jury in the George Zimmerman trial. Reaction to the decision in South Florida, like the rest of the country, has ranged from shock and anger to relief.

RELATED: South Florida Reacts To Verdict In Zimmerman Trial