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Florida's Stand Your Ground Author Refiles Bill To 'Tweak' Law

Florida Senate

An author of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is now hoping to set parameters that clarify the law. And, Altamonte Springs Republican David Simmons is also hoping to put guidelines in place for neighborhood watch programs across the state. The state senator helped write the bill in 2005.

"I believe that I am uniquely situated to deal with what I call 'tweaking improvement' on the Stand Your Ground law, having been the main drafter of it," said Simmons.

Now, he's drafted a bill to cut down on some of the misunderstandings law enforcement has with Stand Your Ground. He also wants the same officers who set up local neighborhood watch programs to establish more rules.

“…something that would affect the ability to go ahead and follow somebody else, for example, and confront them. That’s generally believed to be outside the parameters of anyone who’s participating in neighborhood watch and this is something that I think needs to be debated,” added Simmons.

Simmons’ measure is similar to a bill recently filed by Senate Democratic Caucus Leader Chris Smith, and Simmons says Smith has indicated that he and the rest of the black caucus would be willing to co-sponsor the new bill. This is the second time Simmons has filed his bill, and he hopes this year it will get a hearing, unlike last year. Meanwhile, the House is scheduled to hold a hearing of its own on “Stand Your Ground”next month.

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.