Stand Your Ground

Jordan Michael/WLRN

Results from a Quinnipiac University poll last month show Florida voters like the idea of universal background checks for gun buyers.

They also like the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, isn't surprised by either of those results.

Why Florida's Stand Your Ground Law Isn't Budging

Mar 1, 2013
Jessica Meszaros/WLRN

On The Florida Roundup, here's what we're talking about from this week's news:

Gerardo Mora

Surachai / freedigitalphotos.net

for News Service of Florida  

The panel charged by Gov. Rick Scott with reviewing the state's 'stand your ground' self-defense law did not recommend any major changes to the statute, although it did make suggestions for tweaks by the Legislature in the upcoming session. The basic premise of the law isn't challenged in the final report released Friday. Scott's Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection included lawmakers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, representatives of minority communities and law enforcement. 

One year ago Tuesday, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla., — a death that would reignite the national debate about race relations and raise questions about the "stand your ground" laws on the books in Florida and 29 other states.

Miami Dolphins Fishing For A Stadium Renovation

Jan 18, 2013
Photography MC

On the Florida Roundup: The Miami Dolphins ask the public to go halfsies with them in a $400 million proposition to improve the Sun Life Stadium. But is hosting a Super Bowl really worth it? A skeptical public might be tougher to persuade after the Marlins ballpark deal.  

We take your calls on whether public money fund the stadium facelift.  

News Service of Florida

With lawmakers taking a new look at Florida's "stand your ground" law, the mother of the young man whose death brought the law back into focus urged lawmakers Wednesday to repeal it.

"How many lives do we have to lose?" Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, asked outside the legislative chambers. "How many children have to be killed? How many times are we going to bury our loved ones and not do anything about it?" 

'Stand Your Ground' Linked To Increase In Homicides In Florida

Jan 3, 2013

If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that's what it used to do.

In 2005, Florida became the first of nearly two-dozen states to pass a "stand your ground" law that removed the requirement to retreat. If you felt at risk of harm in a park or on the street, you could use lethal force to defend yourself. The shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford drew national attention to these laws.

Florida House of Representatives website

Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been all over the news this week. On Monday, responding to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, he said all remedies must be "on the table" legislatively, including allowing teachers and principals to arm themselves on school   grounds. 

On Tuesday, after his comments had been reported widely, Baxley issued a statement that this is a time to respect the victims. "Contrary to media reports, no specific proposals have been advanced or filed by me," he wrote.

Florida Senate

Picking a fight with the gun lobby and legislative Republicans, State Sen. Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale) has introduced a bill that would substantially reduce the protections Florida's stand-your-ground law offers to armed citizens.

The law -- controversial because of its application in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin this year by a neighborhood watch volunteer -- allows the use of deadly force by someone who feels threatened. It also prevents police from arresting stand-your-ground shooters in many cases.

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