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Florida Lawmakers, Advocates, Gun Violence Survivors Introduce “Self-Defense Restoration Act” – Major Legislative Effort to Repeal Stand Your Ground

February 4, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —  The Florida chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements this morning applauding the introduction of the Self-Defense Restoration Act, a major legislative effort to repeal Florida’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” law. Bill sponsors Sen. Shevrin Jones (SD-35) and Rep. Michele Rayner (HD-70) joined a press call with Chryl Anderson, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action and survivor of gun violence; James H. Minus, Sr., President, South Brevard Branch, NAACP; and Ruben Lebron, Political Director, Alianza for Progress to introduce the legislation.

“I made a promise to Jordan Davis, a young man that will forever be 17, and to his mother – and my dear friend – Rep. Lucy McBath. I promised that the taking of Jordan’s life, by a man with a gun who thought he understood the law known as “Stand Your Ground”, would make a difference,” said Chryl Anderson, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action and a survivor of gun violence whose friend’s son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed by a man who claimed a “Stand Your Ground” defense. “Today’s introduction of the Self-Defense Restoration Act is another step in fulfilling that promise.”

“There’s no place in Florida for a policy that promotes armed vigilantism and allows people to shoot first and ask questions later, and puts Black people and other people of color at greater risk of gun violence,” said Anna Logan, a volunteer with Leon High School Students Demand Action. “I’m thankful that our lawmakers are taking action to repeal this deadly, racist law, and we’ll fight with them every step of the way to get it off our books.”

“I’ve long called for the repeal of Florida’s deadly ‘Stand Your Ground’ law as we’ve seen it encourage violence and a shoot-first mentality, especially against Black men,” said Senator Shevrin Jones. “The discriminatory policy further undermines our justice system and makes communities less safe, and I urge my colleagues to take action: the legislature has a responsibility to keep people safe — not put them in further danger.” 

What to know about so-called “Stand Your Ground”:

  • Florida’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” law encourages armed vigilantism and allows a person to kill another person in public even if the shooter could have safely walked away from danger. These laws are associated with increases in homicide rates translating to more than 150 additional gun deaths each month nationwide. They are also associated with an increase in firearm injuries, resulting in emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Studies examining Florida found large, statistically significant increases in homicide rates (24-45%) following the enactment of the law in 2005. 
  • So-called “Stand Your Ground” laws are inherently dangerous for everyone, but have a particularly harmful impact on people of color. In “Stand Your Ground” states, homicides in which white shooters kill Black victims are deemed justifiable five times more frequently than when the situation is reversed.
  • More information about so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws is available here.

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