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Senate Dem Leader Refiles Bill Clarifying Stand Your Ground, Not Repealing It

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Florida Senate

As some lawmakers call on the Florida Legislature to repeal the state’s Stand Your Ground law, one Democratic lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to clarify the controversial law.

So far, there’s a House and Senate bill filed to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. But, Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith says repealing the law is not feasible because it’s not something most Floridians support. Instead, he says making sure there’s clarification for when and where it can be used is a better solution, as outlined in a bill he filed Monday.

“It gets rid of the ambiguity to allow law enforcement to actually detain someone even with the claim of Stand Your Ground, so they can truly investigate a claim. And, secondly, it clearly defines how the law is to deal with aggressors. When someone is an aggressor and they try to claim Stand Your Ground, it places a little more emphasis and a little more hurtle on them being able to claim Stand Your Ground,” said Smith.

Smith filed a similar bill last year, but it did not get a committee hearing. He hopes that will change for his new bill. He’s in talks with Senator David Simmons, who helped write the Stand Your Ground law. He’s also talking with House Speaker Will Weatherford and Shalimar Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, who’s holding a hearing on the law next month in his capacity as chair of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

Smith’s House sponsor is expected to be Orlando Representative Bruce Antone, who was also the sponsor for Smith's bill last year.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.