Fla. looks to expand controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law


Florida lawmakers are considering an expansion of the “Stand Your Ground” law. (Image Credit: CBS News)

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(CBS News) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In Florida Monday, hundreds of protesters gathered at the state capitol, demanding changes in the Stand Your Ground law. The law allows a person to use deadly force to defend himself, even if retreat is possible.

In Florida’s gun-friendly legislature, lawmakers want to allow people in fear of their lives to fire a warning shot at their attacker.

“In Florida, we believe in robust self-defense laws, it’s worked. It’s created a 42-year crime low,” said state Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Gaetz pointed to the case of Marissa Alexander. She was initially sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband.

“I’m more interested in closing a loophole where someone would be punished more for missing with a bullet than they would be for striking someone with a bullet in a self-defense circumstance,” Gaetz said.

Eleven states are considering bills to adopt or strengthen Stand Your Ground laws, but 12 states are deciding whether to weaken or repeal them.

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