Bullard Refiles Bill To Change Stand Your Ground, Says It Goes Further Than ‘Tweak’

Oct 16, 2013

Another Florida lawmaker has filed a bill to make changes to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Miami Senator Dwight Bullard says his goes further than a bipartisan proposal starting to move through the Florida Legislature.

Just last week, a proposal aimed at tweaking Stand Your Ground passed its first committee. It’s a combination of two separate bills sponsored by Altamonte Springs Republican Senator David Simmons and Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale. Senator Bullard says that bill is a step in the right direction, but he’s not satisfied.

“The sort of bits and pieces that they took from the two bills could have gone further,” said Bullard.

That’s why Bullard says he refiled a bill that aims to, in his words, “tie up any loose ends that most Floridians are concerned about.” That includes explicitly defining that an aggressor is someone engaged in an overt act of violence, such as brandishing a weapon…

“...but, it would also again switch up that aggressor language so that one could not be provoked and then upon provocation, choose to defend themselves. And, then the person who did the provoking is able to use deadly force—that little loophole is what led to the unfortunate acquittal of George Zimmerman,” he added.

The “aggressor” term is not fully defined in Simmons and Smith’s bill—though Smith says he’s working to get that included in the finished product.

Bullard’s bill also includes a provision similar to one in Smith and Simmons’ bill that would take away the immunity of the person claiming self-defense if an innocent bystander gets hurt or killed. But, critics of that particular provision say the responsibility should lie with the aggressor.

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