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Republican Pays A Price For Crossing The NRA


A Jacksonville Republican who is under intense fire from the National Rifle Association says he has no regrets for refusing to expand Florida’s stand your ground law.

House Judiciary Chairman Charles McBurney wouldn’t schedule a last-ditch hearing on the measure and now the group that gave him a 100 percent rating in 2012 is urging Governor Rick Scott not to appoint him as a circuit judge. McBurney says he’s disappointed at the NRA response, but he sleeps well at night.

“Sometimes you’re placed in a position where you’ve got to make very tough decisions, even against advocacy groups that might otherwise support you, or support your position, which makes it very tough. But your role is not to pander to every advocacy group that’s out there.”

The bill would have shifted the burden of proof for making a stand-your-ground claim from the defendant to the state. In a letter to Scott, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer accuses McBurney of pandering to prosecutors, who along with domestic violence victims, strongly opposed the bill.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.