Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

'Stand Your Ground' To Get Committee Hearing

By: Matt Galka Email
By: Matt Galka Email

By Matt Galka
August 2, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - A House subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Stand Your Ground law this Fall.

The Dream Defenders, the protest group at the Capitol, call it progress, but the chairman of that committee says folks shouldn't expect much.

"I don't plan on moving one comma in the Stand Your Ground law, it's a good law, it protects Floridians," said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach).

Gaetz drew his own line in the sand on his thoughts on Florida's Stand Your Ground law. Gaetz chairs the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee which will hold a hearing on the law during committee week.

"We're not going to let a group of uninformed protesters make everyone else in Florida less safe by imposing on victims the duty to retreat," said Rep. Gaetz.

Meanwhile, the Dream Defenders were still outside Governor Rick Scott's office for the 18th day on Friday.

An interfaith prayer capped off the day for protesters who believe that the hearing is a sign of progress.

"It was a first step, we're glad it happened, but there's still a lot more work that needs to be done in order for us to feel comfortable in our work here," said Dream Defenders Executive Director Phillip Agnew.

The group has been calling for a special session. The hearing, called for by House speaker Will Weatherford, is a somewhat compromise, but Agnew says there's no plans to leave the state house anytime soon.

"Nobody's cracking, unless you're cracking a smile or a joke, this is going to be a long term thing for us," said Agnew.

Committee weeks leading up to the 2014 legislative session begin September 23rd. Rep. Gaetz said he was not sure when exactly the hearings will be or how long they will last.


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