Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida House Subcommittee Stands Firm on Self-defense

Friday, November 8, 2013

As we reported last week, stand-your-ground laws--under which peaceful, law-abiding persons can defend themselves without first having to retreat from their assailants--have come under attack by those who would do away with the right of self-defense altogether.   According to such people, ordinary Americans are too prejudiced to be trusted to exercise their rights.  Opponents of self-defense have shown themselves willing to stoop to any level to smear those who support strong self-defense laws, even portraying the mere act of owning a gun as evidence of racism.

While such outrageous and unfounded tactics are nothing new, they have gained renewed popularity in the wake of the highly-publicized case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.  Despite highly-dubious reporting on that case and despite the fact that most media outlets now recognize that  retreat was not a decisive issue in the case, it has become a rallying cry that is supposed to silence all support for the law.  Fortunately, that has not happened.  Supporters of the stand-your-ground concept have continued to stand with peaceful, law-abiding persons and against criminal aggressors in defending this long-established principle of American law.    

On Thursday, the Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee held a five-hour hearing on HB 4003, heralded by its supporters as the first bill ever introduced to repeal a stand-your-ground law.  The hearing was reported to be a "direct result of a 31-day protest against the law from the Dream Defenders, a group of young activists who camped out at the Florida Capitol, vowing not to leave until Gov. Rick Scott held a special session to discuss the law." Predictably, opponents of the law resorted to their usual divisive and emotionally-charged tactics, absurdly claiming, "The law we are speaking about rests only on fear, on prejudice, and on hate." 

As Marion Hammer, testifying on behalf of NRA and Unified Sportsman of Florida, noted in her remarks, "A duty to retreat in the face of attack protects the life and safety of an attacker and jeopardizes the life and safety of a victim."  Supporters of Florida's stand-your-ground statute have repeatedly explained that its protections are not available to a person who is "engaged in an unlawful activity" or "[i]nitially provokes the use of force against himself or herself."  They only apply, moreover, when the person has an actual and objectively reasonable belief that force is necessary to "prevent death or great bodily harm" or "to prevent the commission of a forcible felony." 

Ms. Hammer's testimony therefore aptly characterized the duty to retreat as signaling "that the justice system places more value on the life of a criminal than the life of a victim."  On the other hand, the stand-your-ground law, as Ms. Hammer observed, "puts the rights of victims ahead of the rights of criminals."

These are not complicated concepts.  They are intuitive and of universal applicability.  That's probably why Florida's 2005 stand-your ground law passed unanimously in the Senate and with overwhelming (94 to 20), bipartisan support in the House.  It's also likely why the Subcommittee on Thursday voted down HB 4003, 11 to 2. 

Rest assured, the attacks against stand-your-ground and self-defense will continue.  Stay tuned to these alerts for further developments.  In the meantime, we thank those who remained on the side of the law-abiding, including Chairman Gaetz (R), Vice Chairman Pilon (R), and Ranking Member Slosberg (D), and Reps. Clelland (D), Eagle (R), Grant (R), Harrell (R), Hood (R), Hutson (R), Kerner (D), and Van Zant (R).

TRENDING NOW
Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

On Thursday, the NRA-supported case Peruta v. California took an important step towards restoring the right to bear arms in California.  The plaintiffs in the case, California gun owners and the California Rifle and Pistol ...

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

America lost a civil rights icon and a true free thinker with the death of Roy Innis on Jan. 8. For the NRA, his departure was personal. Mr. Innis served on the NRA’s Board of ...

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

The FBI released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report earlier this week and the bad news is that violent crime increased for the second consecutive year.

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

News  

Hunting  

Monday, January 9, 2017

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and John Carter (TX-31) on Monday for introducing the Hearing Protection Act, an important bill that gives gun owners and sportsmen ...

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

On January 10 and 11, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held the confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Throughout his distinguished career in public service, ...

Kansas: Bill Introduced Attempting to Repeal Pro-Self-Defense Law

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kansas: Bill Introduced Attempting to Repeal Pro-Self-Defense Law

In 2013, the Kansas Legislature passed the Public Building Security Act, pro-gun legislation that amended the Personal and Family Protection Act. 

Virginia: Senate Committee to Hear Numerous Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Virginia: Senate Committee to Hear Numerous Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, January 18, the Senate Courts of Justice is expected to hear and possibly vote on several firearm-related bills.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.