A Florida House subcommittee voted 11-2 today to retain the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. The hearing followed a month-long occupation of the state’s capitol building after the George Zimmerman verdict by a group called the Dream Defenders, as well as visits of support by Harry Belafonte, rapper Talib Kweli and Jesse Jackson. The law also inspired statewide boycotts by Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick.
The Florida Sheriffs Association stood by the law, as did Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and in fact, the panel voted to slightly expand the law to include warning shots.
NBC News Tampa reports:
At least 22 states currently have stand-your-ground laws.
The House committee also considered a separate measure at the hearing involving deadly force — eliminating punishment for defensively displaying a weapon and firing warning shots.
The panel approved the expansion of the ”stand your ground” immunity to people who fire a warning shot. Under the measure, individuals are exempt from Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing provisions for discharging a firearm when used only as a warning.
DENIED! Florida Panel Rejects Bill to Repeal Stand Your Ground Laws http://t.co/lbrd5corW7
— Tabitha Bliss (@BlissTabitha) November 8, 2013