FL Senate President: No special committee on “Stand Your Ground” law

Willie Lawson from Florida Dash reports:

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R) refused Minority Leader Chris Smith’s request to form a select committee on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.  Gaetz informed Smith by letter that such a select committee would be a duplication of efforts. Governor Rick Scott formed the “Citizen’s Safety and Protection Task Force” last year. The task force was charged with studying all of  Florida’s self-protection laws. Gaetz also reminded Smith that select committees by Senate rules are not allowed to vote on Florida law.

Read more here. To read the Citizens Safety and Protection Task Force report and findings click here.

Senator Smith in a letter to President Gaetz stated, “It is well documented that the problems and the misuse of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law did not start, nor did they end, with the killing of 17-year old Trayvon Martin. There has been ample evidence collected since its passage in 2005 of its abuse throughout our state – too often by someone to escape prosecution after he or she provoked the confrontation that turned deadly. This needs to change.”

NOTE: Florida’s stand your ground law was not used in the trial of George Zimmerman. The case was based on self-defense.

For a larger view click on the map.

Joe Angioni,  in a WDW – FL Editorial noted, “[I]n Florida, approximately one third of the state’s stand-your-ground claims in fatal cases have been made by black defendants, and they have used the defense successfully 55 percent of the time, and at a higher rate than white defendants. This is according to a Daily Caller analysis of a database maintained by the Tampa Bay Times.  African Americans used Stand-Your-Ground defenses at nearly twice the rate of their presence in the Florida population, listed at 16.6 percent in 2012.”

There are twenty-one states with some form of stand your ground laws. Florida was the first to pass and has the most comprehensive SYG law.

Currently there are over one million concealed carry permit holders in Florida. Angioni notes, “Permits to carry a concealed weapon have been issued in Florida since 1987.  It is one of 38 states that are “shall issue” states, in which the requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit are laid down by law. If you meet the requirements, the state shall issue the permit. Your right to carry in these states cannot be infringed upon.”