Stand Your Ground

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Two Florida lawmakers are hoping to revive a bill that failed during the past legislative session repealing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. But, some say the law should remain intact and see it as a waste of time.

It was in late 2013 when Rep. Alan Williams’ (R-Tallahassee) got a five hour hearing for his bill to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Should the Florida Supreme Court or the state Legislature have the power to shift the burden of proof to a defendant or the state prosecutor in a Stand Your Ground case? That question was recently before the high court as well as the Legislature earlier this year. So, could that come back into play again next legislative session?

The Case Before The Court

MGN Online

Should the state or the defense have the burden of proof in a Stand Your Ground case? That question was before the Florida Supreme Court Tuesday as the justices weighed arguments.

No shots were fired, but Jared Bretherick did point a gun at another man, he says, to protect his family during a 2011 incident in Osceola County. The Indiana man was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. But, speaking to Supreme Court Justices Tuesday, his lawyer, Eric Friday, says it was self-defense.

"Bulletproof Vest" billboard
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

A billboard in Tallahassee is advertising bulletproof vests for children. The group behind the provocative campaign wants to make Florida voters think about policies like the Stand Your Ground law before they cast ballots in the midterm election.

Picture this: You’re driving westward down one of Tallahassee’s main roads. Apalachee Parkway eventually runs right into state Capitol building, but you’re waiting at a light at the Capital Circle intersection, one of the busiest in town. Then you see it: A billboard high above a KFC restaurant.

Capital Report: 07-18-2014

Jul 21, 2014

Four years ago, an oil rig owned by BP exploded off the Louisiana coast—causing one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history. The oil flowed all the way to the Western Panhandle, causing tourists to flee and businesses to dry up. Now, as Lynn Hatter reports, tourism is back and the money is flowing again—and the oil remains.

Mitch Barrie

Can a convicted felon, who’s not supposed to have a gun in the first place, still use a gun legally for self-defense? That depends which Florida self-defense law he uses, according to a recent appeals court ruling. The first law doesn’t say convicted felons can’t defend themselves with guns. The second one – the so called “Stand Your Ground” law – specifically says they can’t. Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) who authored the Stand Your Ground law, says he’s watching what happens next in the courts.

Getty Images

A couple of NRA-backed priorities died in the Florida Senate Thursday. The issues centered around one bill that that would allow people to legally carry a concealed weapon without a permit during a mandatory evacuation and another issue relating to tweaking Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Emergency Concealed Carry Bill

Sen. David Simmons' district facebook page

Is a measure aiming to tweak Florida’s Stand Your Ground law dead this year? While some believe that effort is over, others—including the law’s main author—don’t seem to think so.

Last month, a proposal aimed at tweaking the controversial law began to move again, when it passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee—the bill’s second stop.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

The bipartisan bill to tweak Florida’s Stand Your Ground law appears stalled in the Florida Senate. And, several groups, including the so-called Dream Defenders, joined the measure’s author in calling for further discussion to changing the controversial law.

Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith has been working side by side with Altamonte Springs Republican Senator David Simmons in trying to make changes to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Smith says the legislation is needed to address some of the recent decisions associated with the law.

AP Photo

The so-called “Warning Shot” bill is heading to the Governor’s desk, after the Senate passed the measure Thursday. But, debate grew heated as some Democrats tried—and failed—to amend the bill.

WJCT

While the "warning shot" bill got teed up for a vote in the Senate, a couple of gun-related measures have already passed the full House as of Thursday. But after a dust-up between lawmakers, a revived attempt to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law failed again.

NRA's Busy Week

State Attorney's Office

State Attorneys say they’re against Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.  At least one of those prosecutors says he’s also dead set against the so-called bipartisan tweak bill now moving in the Senate.

Tallahassee State Attorney Willie Meggs is railing against an NRA-backed provision in the bill that he insists would “make a bad policy a lot worse.” He says he opposes Stand Your Ground because Florida residents no longer feel they have the duty to retreat in a situation that could call for it.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A bill allowing someone to threaten to use force in a situation where they feel threatened without fear of prosecution is expected to be discussed on the Senate Floor this week.  And, the so-called “warning shot” bill that was modified at each committee stop may go through another change on the floor.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Hundreds of people marched on the State Capitol Monday to protest Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. They were led by the Reverend Al Sharpton and the parents of two slain teens.

Chanting phrases like “no Stand Your Ground” and “no justice, no peace,” the Reverend Al Sharpton led a march from the Leon County Civic Center to the steps of the Florida Capitol building.

MGN Online

A measure inspired by the story of a Jacksonville woman who received a lengthy prison term for firing a warning shot unanimously cleared another Senate hurdle Tuesday. It’s the second time around for the so-called “Warning Shot” bill in that same committee.

Last month, the bill got held up after undergoing multiple changes and time ran out in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. So, on the first day of the 2014 Legislative Session, Baker Republican Senator Greg Evers got a second chance to vet his bill.

MGN Online

Over the next few weeks, Florida lawmakers are slated to take up a series of gun-related measures, from fixes to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law to enhancing penalties for insurers who discriminate against gun-owners. But, while some bills appear to be moving quickly through the Legislature, others appear to be stalled in the legislative process.

"Right To Be A Kid" Bill

Florida Channel

A bill aimed at allowing someone to show a gun or fire a warning shot in self-defense without fear of prosecution is now heading to the House floor. It’s a bill inspired by a Jacksonville woman who fired a warning shot in an alleged domestic violence dispute and received a lengthy prison term.

MGN Online

A bill got held up that would amend the state’s Stand Your Ground law, after the measure ran into problems during a Senate hearing Tuesday.

The intent of the so-called “Warning Shot” bill is to fix the unintended consequences of Florida’s 10-20-Life Law. This year’s legislation is inspired by Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville woman who fired a warning shot during an alleged domestic dispute and received a 20-year-prison sentence. During her initial trial, she claimed Stand Your Ground, but a judge said it didn’t apply.

MGN Online

The same poll that shows Charlie Crist leading Rick Scott in a hypothetical matchup in next year’s Florida governor’s race also shows Floridians overwhelmingly support marijuana use for medicinal purposes, but aren’t in favor of changing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Peter Brown is the Assistant Director of Quinnipiac University’s Polling Institute, which conducted the survey.

Daily Kos

After a legislative bid to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law failed this week, the focus now turns to whether opponents of the existing law will now throw their weight behind a proposal aimed at tweaking the law.

Thursday’s five-hour hearing saw each side literally going back and forth between the pros and cons of Stand Your Ground. Law enforcement agencies opposed the repeal, including Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley.

Florida Channel

A bill aiming to repeal Stand Your Ground was rejected during an almost five-hour hearing Thursday.

Many spoke in favor and against repealing the law. Among those who testified during the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee meeting included the Dream Defenders and the National Rifle Association.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

On the eve of a vote on a bill that would repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, some House Democrats are split: Try to change the law or put an end to it altogether?

U.S. Senators Tuesday sparred on Capitol Hill over Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The Congressional hearing to review the law also included personal testimony from some affected by it.

The Mothers Share Their Stories

“I appear before you because my son Jordan was shot and killed last November while sitting in the back seat of his friends car listening to loud music,” said Lucia McBath.

Florida House

A widely-anticipated hearing on a bill that would repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law will happen the next time Florida lawmakers come to Tallahassee for a committee week.

MGN Online

A House committee has named a date when it’ll discuss a bill that would repeal Florida's Stand Your Ground law. The scheduling was announced the same week as a Tallahassee forum where critics weighed in about the controversial law.

Pages