Supporters gather in front of the Duval County Courthouse on Monday, April 30, 2012 in support of Marissa Alexander, who is at the center of a controversial aggravated assault case that deals with Florida's Stand Your Ground law.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has renewed his support for the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which makes a special session highly unlikely, but that hasn’t stopped your lawmakers from debating the future of the law.
“If you are an initiator, then you shouldn’t be able to claim ‘Stand Your Ground’, nor any portion of self-defense, because you started it,” says Democratic State Senator Audrey Gibson.
Gibson says there needs to be a review not just of SYG, but of Florida’s self-defense laws collectively to see whether they are in fact protecting you or making you more vulnerable.
While there have been several reviews of the law recently, including a state task force, Gibson says they haven’t really addressed the law. She says the people studying the law were supporters and lawmakers overall refused to take up the issue in workshops.
But for Republican State Senator Aaron Bean, the tests have come and gone, and the law on the book makes sense.
“I just don’t see an appetite for making changes to that law when the intent was to protect homeowners,” Bean says.
He believes people are unfortunately using recent tragedies to promote “a different agenda” that works against what’s best for homeowners.
Gibson says it’s the current law that poses the risk for homeowners, and most other Floridians. While she realizes a special session is not likely, she says it would make a big difference.
“If we do have a special session, then the community will immediately become safer,” she says.
Bean says he would always support action to make Florida better, but this is not one of those cases.