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Appeals Court: Felons Not Blocked From Claiming Self Defense

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.

“And then after that’s all settled then we can again look as legislators and say well, if our intent is not coming through and it’s coming out differently in applications then that’s the question, are there any other changes we want to make legislatively,” Baxley says

Baxley says he doesn’t think a person who illegally has gun should be able to use the defense, but he says he’s not ready to decide yet whether he’d file legislation to clarify that. The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to take up the issue. It’s been a question in several state cases.