Senate Rejects Changes To "Stand Your Ground"

By: Florida State Senator Chris Smith; Associated Press News Email
By: Florida State Senator Chris Smith; Associated Press News Email

News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: May 1, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Senate rejected proposed changes to the "stand your ground" law that would have prevented people who start an altercation or seek revenge from using it as a defense.

Democratic Sen. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale tried amending another gun bill Thursday to include the changes.

Smith pointed at the Trayvon Martin case, a Tampa-area movie theater shooting and a Jacksonville case where a man fatally shot a teenager after an argument over loud music.

He said after each event, lawmakers said it wasn't their intention for "stand your ground" to be used in cases like that. He said the proposed amendment would have cleared up the intention behind the law that allows people who feel threatened to respond with deadly force. It failed on a 13-24 vote.

News Release: Florida State Senator Chris Smith

TALLAHASSEE - Seeking to bring awareness and support to the stand against violence, state Senator Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) will hold a press conference tomorrow to discuss needed changes to the state's controversial Stand Your Ground law.

Legislation amending the law (SB 130) sponsored by Senator Smith and Senator David Simmons (R-Altamonte Springs) was recently re-referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting a hearing.

Joining the Senator will be the District Director Matthew Bradford, Dream Defender Executive Director Philip Agnew and other local leaders and members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

The press conference is scheduled for this Friday, April 11, 2014 at The Florida Capitol, 4th Floor Rotunda, from 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

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