Archive for the ‘Stand Your Ground Issues’ Category

A panel of Florida lawmakers heartily defeated Thursday a measure to repeal the state’s Stand Your Ground law, though it did approve legislation to expand the law’s protection to those who fire a warning shot.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee killed the bill by a vote of 11-2 after a five-hour hearing attended by around 300 people, according to The Miami Herald.

Many in attendance signed up to opine on the controversial law that cast a long shadow on the recentcase against George Zimmerman, the community patrol volunteer who was eventually acquitted for the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

The attempt to repeal Stand Your Ground had “everything to do with making sure we keep our streets and our communities and our neighborhoods safe,” sponsor of the bill Rep. Alan Williams (D) said.

“We have had a number of cases that have shown us over and over that the law as adopted in 2005 isn’t working,” Williams said.

Many state legislators, some not on the panel, voiced their support the law, which they painted as a vital self-defense law, if not a right.

“Today, our state is a safer place and has the lowest crime rate in 42 years,” said Rep. Marti Coley (R).“Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is solid. It’s good and should not be changed.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), who led the hearing, said he would not support changing “one damn comma” of the law.

Two Democrats supported the repeal. The bill never had much of a chance, regardless, based on wide support it has among Republicans, which dominate the state Legislature.

The law was not used by Zimmerman’s defense, though certain language from the legislation was included in jury guidelines.

Some speakers at the hearing gave impassioned pleas for a repeal, including Lucia McBath, whose 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was shot and killed after a 2012 dispute at a Jacksonville gas station.

“My grief is unbearable at times,” said McBath. “I’m here as a face of the countless victims of gun violence.”

Law enforcement among the supporters.

“Florida sheriffs unequivocally support the right to stand your ground,” said Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley, adding that people should not have to hesitate if an intruder is in their home.

House Minority Leader Perry Thurston told the Herald he will lead an effort to reform the law now that a repeal has failed.

Meanwhile, the panel advanced a separate bill giving protection under Stand Your Ground to those who fire a warning shot. Under the legislation, Florida residents would ostensibly not be subject to a minimum mandatory sentencing law known as 10-20-Life.

The bill was filed after Marissa Alexander was sentenced to the mandatory 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at her husband.

Alexander tried to claim sanctuary under Stand Your Ground, but was still found guilty.

The legislation received bipartisan support. Marion Hammer, the chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Florida, supported the bill as well.

“10-20-Life was never intended to be used against citizens who, in an act of self defense, threatened the use of force to stop an attack,” Hammer said.

The lone dissenter worried the law’s protections may be too broad.

“To simply give a blanket cover to anyone simply because he or she raises the issue of Stand Your Ground, could be more problematic in the future than it is now,” said Rep. Kionne McGhee (D).

The law now goes to the full Legislature, which convenes in March.


Jesse trying to get back on track and into the fray. Once again pushing racism Black-style to keep law abiding Americans from protecting themselves and giving the ground to criminals. What nonsense.


Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition filed a lawsuit Friday against the state of Georgia challenging the state’s 2006 stand your ground law. It’s reportedly the beginning of a push to universally define the laws that exist in over 21 U.S. states. Jackson says the law is arbitrary and inconsistent, especially for people of color.

Jesse Jackson (Flickr photo by Eric Guo)

Jesse Jackson (Flickr photo by Eric Guo)

Jackson, flanked by members of two families from two spectrums of stand your ground shootings, who are also named as plaintiffs in the suit, held a press conference to announce the action.

James Christopher Johnson III, a 25 year-old African-American, was killed at a nightclub in March of this year by a man who later claimed stand your ground. Johnson was with his girlfriend when Adam Lee Edmondson, a 26 year-old white male, made an “inappropriate” gesture or look toward the girlfriend, causing an argument, which ended when a friend of Edmonson’s took him away.

The next night Johnson and his girl went back to the same club, and again Edmondson showed up, this time reportedly approaching Johnson’s girlfriend on a patio.  After Edmonson’s repeated advances, she asked friends to go get Johnson and security, who were inside the club.  Johnson came out, and pushed Edmonson, who pulled out a .40 caliber handgun, then shot and killed Johnson, who was unarmed. Edmonson was later acquitted under Georgia’s stand your ground law.

The other case included in the lawsuit is that of Herman Smith, Jr., 21, an African-American who was sentenced to life in the killing of Cardarius Stegall at a birthday party last November. reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smith was standing with a man Stegall had threatened to shoot, and as Stegall walked toward them with a gun in his hand, Smith pulled out a gun and shot Stegall first. Despite claiming stand your ground, Smith was convicted of murder in August.

Another lawsuit against the state over the law that was filed last year by Georgia civil rights activist Rev. Markel Hutchins was dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiff had not been injured as a result of the law.

After George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Jackson called for a boycott of Florida because of stand your ground laws.


Florida URGENT! Bill to REPEAL Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground in Committee

Posted on November 1, 2013

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DATE: November 1, 2013
TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President

WHERE: Florida House Criminal Justice Committee Hearing
WHEN: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 3:00pm
WHAT: Bills on the Agenda — HB-4003 by Williams and HB-89 by Combee

WE OPPOSE HB-4003 by Rep. Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee). HB-4003 is a REPEALER bill that will repeal the “Stand Your Ground” law. This bill would repeal provisions of our self-defense laws relating to home protection & use of deadly force. It would once again put the law on the side of criminals.

The repeal would re-impose the “duty to retreat” and give protection to criminals by denying victims the right to fight back without first trying to run away. HB-4003 would remove the law that allows you to stand your ground and fight back in the face of an attack likely to cause death or great bodily harm. This is a bill to protect criminals.

WE SUPPORT HB-89 by Rep. Neil Combee (R-Auburndale) & Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Sunrise). HB-89 is a bill to stop abusive prosecutors from using 10-20-LIFE to prosecute people who threaten to use deadly force against an attacker as a means to stop an attack.

Some anti-gun, anti-self-defense prosecutors have been abusing the 10-20-LIFE law to prosecute average citizens who displayed a weapon or gun in self-defense to make an attacker back off.

Average citizens who never would have been in the system if they had not been attacked and in fear for their own safety are being persecuted and prosecuted for defending themselves. Because citizens took responsibility for their own safety, some prosecutors treat them like criminals and make them victims of a judicial system that is no longer about justice but rather about the whim or politics of prosecutors.

10-20-LIFE was passed to be used against criminals who use guns in the commission or attempted commission of crimes — NOT average citizens who use threats of force to defend themselves rather than actual force.

We urge you to E-MAIL and CALL Committee members and tell them to

VOTE AGAINST HB-4003 by Williams and VOTE FOR HB-89 by Combee

IN THE SUBJECT PUT: VOTE FOR HB-89 by Combee / AGAINST HB-4003 by Williams

(To send your message to all just Block and Copy All email addresses into the “Send To” box)



Chairman, Matt Gaetz – (850) 717-5004
Vice Chair, Ray Pilon – (850) 717-5072
Irving Slosberg – (850) 717-5099
Randolph Bracy – (850) 717-5045
Mike Clelland – (850) 717-5029
Dane Eagle – (850) 717-5077
James Grant – (850) 717-5064
Gayle Harrell – (850) 717-5083
Dave Hood – (850) 717-5025
Travis Hutson – (850) 717-5024
Dave Kerner – (850) 717-5087
Kionne McGhee – (850) 717-5117
Charles Van Zant – (850) 717-5019

Please forward this e-mail to your friends, neighbors, and co-workers who believe in the right to defend self and family from criminal attackers.

Liberals are once again whining that Conservatives are attempting to pass laws that permit a citizen to protect himself where ever he may lawfully be. Liberals love to support the lowest scum on earth for that is about the only source of their votes.

By MARC KOVAC @ohiocapitalblog C-N Capital Bureau Published: October 31, 2013 9:00AM

COLUMBUS — Pro-ponents of legislation that would allow Ohioans to defend themselves using lethal force if attacked say the proposed law changes are not the same as so-called Stand Your Ground laws that have generated criticism in other states and nationally.

But House Bill 203 would expand the circumstances in which individuals have “no duty to retreat” so long as they are facing physical threats in places where they “lawfully” have a right to be.

Rep. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, primary sponsor, said the legislation is needed to protect Ohioans’ Second Amendment rights.

“I am very interested in the restoration of the Second Amendment,” he said during an afternoon press conference Tuesday. “I’m very interested in the ability of the Bill of Rights in general to prevail. I would like to see us get back to a freer America.”

The language is part of a larger bill that would affect Ohioans wanting to purchase firearms or hold concealed carry licenses.

Among other provisions, the legislation proposes to reduce the number of safety training force license applicants to four from 12, allow men and women serving in the military to retain their concealed carry licenses, enable out-of-state firearms purchases and eliminate a requirement that new residents wait to obtain licenses.

The bill also would require Ohio to recognize concealed handgun licenses issued by states that recognize Ohio’s license holders.

Proponents are taking issue with opponents characterizing HB 203 as Stand Your Ground legislation, however.

Ken Hanson, legislative director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said there are substantial legal differences between what’s being proposed in Ohio and those in place in states like Florida.

Johnson added, “All we’re really wanting to do is make it so that you’ve got a duty to defend yourself, not a duty to retreat.”

But state Rep. Alicia Reece, D-Cincinnati, who serves
as president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, said the provisions are “dangerous and polarizing.”

“The fact that this bill continues to move forward in the legislative process is alarming, especially when taking into account its widespread opposition,” she said in a released statement. “… The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and greater-Ohio community stand together in saying that Ohio does not need Stand Your Ground.”



(UPDATED) The U.S. Senate has rescheduled the hearing on stand your ground laws, which was originally scheduled for September 17 in Washington, D.C., but postponed due to shootings the day before at a nearby Navy Yard. The new hearing date will be nine days before a hearing in Florida on a bill to repeal that state’s stand your ground law.

Senate Seal

The hearing in Washington, on “Stand Your Ground Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force”, by the Senate Judiciary Committee‘s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, will be held on Tuesday, October 29, at 10:00 a.m. , in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, and Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis were listed on the original panel, and attorneys for both women have confirmed with this website that they are still scheduled for the hearing. A bipartisan cross-section of proponents and opponents of stand your ground laws are also expected to testify on the panel.

Majority members on the subcommittee are Dick Durbin (R-Illinois), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Christopher Coons (D-Delaware), Rick Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii); minority members are Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

If you can’t attend the hearing in person you can WATCH THE LIVE WEBCAST HERE ON OCTOBER 29th:


Washtenaw Board Sued Over Stand Your Ground


OCTOBER 24, 2013 at 1 pm

Ypsilanti attorney David Raaflaub has filed a lawsuit against the Washtenaw County board of commissioners over a resolution that the board passed on Oct. 16, 2013. The resolution, which was approved on a 5-4 vote, urged state legislators to repeal Michigan’s Stand Your Ground law. [.pdf of board resolution] [.pdf of Raaflaub complaint]

The complaint, filed on Oct. 21 in the 22nd Circuit Court of Washtenaw County, asks the court to determine two issues: (1) what authority the board has that enables it to “draw conclusions of law,” and (2) what authority the board has to represent the county in seeking changes to state law.

Curtis Hedger, the county’s corporation counsel, stated in an Oct. 24 email to The Chronicle that the county is in the process of retaining counsel who will respond to the lawsuit on the board’s behalf.

The five commissioners who voted in favor of the resolution were Felicia Brabec (D-District 4), Ronnie Peterson (D-District 6), Andy LaBarre (D-District 7), Yousef Rabhi (D-District 8) and Conan Smith (D-District 9). Voting against it were Kent Martinez-Kratz (D-District 1), Dan Smith (R-District 2), Alicia Ping (R-District 3), and Rolland Sizemore Jr. (D-District 5).

Reached via email on Oct. 24, Dan Smith indicated that he would bring forward a resolution to rescind the board’s previous action, if it’s determined that the county will incur additional costs – such as fees for outside legal counsel – to defend the lawsuit.

Michigan’s Stand Your Ground law – Public Act 309, the Michigan Self Defense Act – was enacted in 2006. In early September, county board chair Yousef Rabhi had announced his intent to bring forward a resolution urging the state legislature to repeal the law, similar to resolutions passed by the Ann Arbor city council on Aug. 8, 2013 and by the Ypsilanti city council on Aug. 20, 2013. The resolution had originally appeared on the county board’s Sept. 18 agenda, but was pulled from the agenda before the meeting when it became uncertain that it would win sufficient support to pass, given the anticipated absence of some commissioners.

Supporters of the law spoke at the Sept. 18 and Oct. 2 county board meetings, and showed up again on Oct. 16. Many of the speakers were from outside of Washtenaw County, and wore sidearms to the meeting. Some were affiliated with Michigan Open Carry Inc., an advocacy group based in Lansing that has been urging people to attend the Washtenaw County board meetings to protest the proposed resolution. The resolution also attracted the attention of the National Rifle Association. The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action issued an alert on Oct. 11 calling the resolution “misguided” and providing contact information for the nine county commissioners.

The extensive public commentary on Oct. 16 included more than three dozen speakers on both sides of the issue, but dominated by supporters of the Stand Your Ground law. The county had extra security on hand at the meeting.

Raaflaub is a member of the Washtenaw County Republican executive committee. He was the Republican candidate for county commissioner in District 6 in the November 2012 election, running against incumbent Democrat Ronnie Peterson, who won that election.


Gun feud continues in Oberlin

By Jon Wysochanski, The Morning Journal
POSTED: 10/21/13, 11:33 PM EDT | UPDATED: 3 MINS AGO

OBERLIN — City Council approved a resolution on first reading Monday expressing opposition to state House Bill 203, a bill that aims to relax several hand gun restrictions, and makes changes to personal protection laws known as “Stand Your Ground” laws.
According to information on the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus website, if passed, House Bill 203 would “expand the circumstances under which a person has no duty to retreat before using lethal force in self-defense.”
Oberlin’s resolution may be a hint at their stance on a recent legal challenge by firearms activists. The city has yet to respond publicly to a lawsuit by Ohioans for Concealed Carry, which says five of the city’s gun ordinances conflict with state firearms laws.
Council has since been testing the waters of home-rule. In previous meetings, Council approved, then tabled, a resolution urging the state and governor to grant municipalities home-rule authority to restrict the possession of firearms in public parks.
City manager Eric Norenberg said previously that tabling the ordinance was not giving in to Ohioans for Concealed Carry. They needed more time to consider the legal challenge and how they would like the state to address the question of home-rule, he said.
“There may be other things we’d like to throw into that resolution and urge the General Assembly to change the law in other respects,” he said in a previous Morning Journal report. “It’s more of a ‘let’s wait and see what happens’ as we move through the legal process under the suit and see if there are other things we’re going to address as well.”
And the legal process currently is moving along behind closed doors. Council had its second executive session Monday to discuss the pending litigation. Law director Jon Clark declined to comment on the session saying only that the city still has a month to respond to the suit.
But Council member Charles Peterson hinted that Monday night’s resolution expressing opposition to House Bill 203 is one way to reiterate Oberlin’s stance on gun’s in parks.
“I hope this is for the next council and its members, a very loud shot across the bow to retain home-rule among Ohio municipalities,” he said.


Repeal SYGL

Posted: October 23, 2013 in Repeal SYGL, Stand Your Ground Issues

WASHTENAW COUNTY: Board of Commissioners sends message to Legislature on ‘stand your ground’ (WITH VIDEO)

Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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By Lara Mossa
Heritage Media

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ANN ARBOR — About 100 people attended last week’s Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meeting, and the line for public comment stretched out into the hallway from the board room.

The vast majority were there to talk about the county’s resolution to urge the state of Michigan to repeal Public Act 309, Michigan’s version of the “Stand Your Ground” law. Toward the end of a meeting that spanned six hours, board members approved the resolution.

“I’m here tonight because I really want to impress upon you that it’s a very important piece of legislation that we should address,” said LeFiest Galimore, an Ann Arbor resident. “…I think that we need to support a repeal of P.A. 309, because it’s a dangerous piece of legislation that can do harm to innocent individuals or potentially innocent individuals.”

Galimore has organized a group of about 20 people, called United for Repeal of PA 309, who have urged several local governments to help repeal the self-defense act. The Ann Arbor City Council and the city of Ypsilanti adopted similar resolutions in August.

“I’m not against anyone owning guns. I want to make that clear,” he said. “This is not an anti-gun movement. What this is is about personal responsibility when it comes down to how you use that weapon. That’s what this is all about. I want to make that very clear to those of you who want to frame this as anti-gun thing.

“This is not an anti-gun movement. This is not an anti-gun statement. This is about protecting every citizen in our community. We have a responsibility to do that. We are a community that values human life, and we need to show that by supporting the repeal of Public Act 309.”

The Washtenaw County resolution called for “the repeal of Michigan’s Stand Your Ground law and for strengthening of firearm regulations.”

Michigan’s Self-Defense Act, signed into law in 2006, says there is no duty to retreat if a person has a legal right to be where they are. The statute applies when deadly force is believed necessary to prevent “imminent death or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual” and to prevent “imminent sexual assault.”


The individual who wrote this article is clearly of the same mindset as the NAACP. He makes it seem as this talk was merely chosen because of the Trayvon-Zimmerman issue. Nonsense. The NAACP is a neo-marxist group which is talking the Stand Your Ground Laws to the U.N.  But the author, maybe even unknowingly, reveals why the NAACP despises Stand Your Ground Laws. The NAACP wants law abiding citizens to be force to have to run when criminals show up and give society to them. Of course, the NAACP is involved because for them this  a racist issue. Funny, they do not seem to worry to much when it is a white criminal who is shot. S


NAACP plans ‘Stand Your Ground’ talk at annual dinner

By Michael T. Lyle Jr., The Middletown Press

POSTED: 10/21/13, 5:47 PM EDT |

MIDDLETOWN >> The Middlesex County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is hosting its annual Freedom Fund Award dinner Thursday.

According to chapter President Rosa Browne, the event is being held, in part, as a way of increasing membership and educating the public about the NAACP’s community work.

Following an award presentation in which individuals and businesses in the community will be honored for their dedication and commitment to diversity, Perry Forgione, a retired FBI agent, will speak on the law that’s become known as “Stand Your Ground.”

The law, which gives individuals the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without any requirement to evade or retreat from a dangerous situation, was widely debated in the controversial trial ofGeorge Zimmerman last summer. Zimmerman was acquitted of charges brought against him in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, sparking outrage and protests from civil rights organizations and advocates across the country.

Browne said the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial was what prompted organizers to feature the topic.

“It’s an important community talk in the wake of hearing ‘not-guilty’ for Zimmerman,” said Browne. “The community in general needs to be educated in reference to embracing diversity and other topics that are affecting minorities.”

The event will take place at the Masonic Temple, 33 Pleasant St., Middletown, beginning at 6 p.m. and is open to both members of the public and NAACP members at a cost of $65, Browne said.