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Moms Demand Action Applauds the Florida Legislature for Revisiting the State’s Current Stand Your Ground Statute

October 9, 2013

Grassroots Movement is calling on all states with Stand Your Ground Laws to take similar and immediate action

map-states-w-stand-yr-ground-lawsFlorida members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America supports the efforts of Florida state legislators, including state Sens. Chris Smith (D-FL) and David Simmons (R-FL), to bring to light the inadequacy of the state’s current so-called Stand Your Ground statute. We are encouraged that both parties approved modifications including a bill that would require county sheriffs to set guidelines for “neighborhood watch” programs and another bill which would prohibit the “aggressors” in confrontations from claiming “stand your ground” immunity.

Currently, Stand Your Ground laws exist in twenty-six states. Moms Demand Action is calling on each of these states to make immediate changes to – or to remove – these laws.

“Our members are working to ensure lax and dangerous laws like Stand Your Ground receives the legislative and media attention it deserves in all affected states,” said Maggie Larguier, chapter leader of Moms Demand Action – Florida chapter. “It appears that some Florida legislative leaders are poised to take steps to address the concerns of our organization, as well as many others who now understand the grave dangers of these laws.”

“We call on other states to immediately move in the same direction as we continue our work in Florida to roll back a law that undermines the safety of our children,” said Ms. Larguier.

Moms Demand Action submitted a statement to members of the committee for today’s hearing, which includes the following language:

“Some claim that these faulty laws assure innocent people of greater safety. From what we have learned, studies indicate that these laws do NOT make us safer. A recent Texas A&M study analyzed 20 states with Stand Your Ground laws, including Florida, and found that the laws do not deter violent crime. In fact, there is a clear increase in homicides in those states, resulting in up to 700 more shooting deaths nationwide each year.

Stand Your Ground laws also disproportionately affect communities of color. According to an Urban Institute study, when white shooters kill black victims, 34 percent of the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable, while only 3 percent of deaths are ruled justifiable when the shooter is black and the victim is white. Far from making us feel safe, these findings and recent cases are cause for alarm, and highlight the fact that human error is allowed to reign under these laws.”

Lucy McBath, spokesperson for Moms Demand Action and mother of Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old who was shot and killed in Florida last year by a man who will likely use Stand Your Ground laws as his defense at trial next year, said, “Kill first, explain later is not justice – I know this first-hand. Children and adults who may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time are now more likely to die at the hands of the armed and angry. This is unacceptable. Shooting to kill then asking questions later is not acceptable in any community, ever.”

Read the full press release

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