An outspoken critic of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” has officially filed a bill to repeal the controversial self-defense law.
Back in 2005, Florida was the first of 21 states to enact “Stand Your Ground,” which allows people in fear of serious injury to use deadly force to defend themselves rather than retreat. It expanded on Florida’s previous self-defense law, the castle doctrine, by permitting use of such force outside of one’s home or vehicle.
Monday Rep. Alan Williams, (D-Tallahassee) sponsored HB 4003, which repeals “Stand Your Ground.” He sponsoredthe same bill last year, which died in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee.
“It’s not about gun control. It’s about self-control,” Williams recently told a radio station. “We hunt too. But we don’t hunt young men minding their own business.”
The law has come under particular scrutiny after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. Although it was not officially used by Zimmerman’s defense team, its language was included in the jury instructions and it was the reason police did not arrest Zimmerman for two months after the shooting.
After Zimmerman’s acquittal, Williams announced plans to also file a bill clarifying the “Stand Your Ground” statue language, which is notoriously applied inconsistently across self-defense cases.