VIDEO: See FL Legislators Debate, Defeat Effort to Repeal Stand-Your-Ground

Hey folks,

By now you’ve all heard that the Florida House judiciary committee had voted down HB-4003, the bill to repeal Florida’s “Stand-Your-Ground” statute, 776.013, by a landslide 11-2 vote.

Changes are, however, that you didn’t get to watch any of the hearing debate yourselves.

Law of Self Defense to the rescue.

Below you can find the debate commentary from all of the committee members who spoke on the subject (not all did). This is not, by the way, a “debate” in the context of a back-and-forth. The committee members had already heard testimony from Rep. Williams, the sponsor of the bill (but not a member of the judiciary committee, so without a vote). They had also heard from some “expert witnesses”–by which I mean the head of the local NAACP branch (which wanted SYG repealed). They also heard from the heads of the FL Sheriff’s Association, a FL prosecutor’s group and a Fl public defender’s group–all of whom supported SYG. Finally they had also heard from a couple of parents who have lost children under circumstances that might (or might not) implicated SYG.

Finally, they had heard from roughly two dozen “ordinary citizens” who came to the hearings so their voice could be heard. Fourteen of these people spoke in support HB-4003 and the repeal of SYG, and 16 spoke in opposition to HB-4003 and in support of SYG (although there were maybe an equally large number of SYG supporters who were physically present but waived their time to others).

This “debate” segment which followed all that is really just an opportunity for each member of the committee to give a mini-speech of a few minutes, and then indicate their intentions on the bill, after which the formal roll-call is held.

I’ve presented the committee members comments in the order in which they were made, and included the roll-call vote at the end.

Enjoy!

Rep. Harrell (R): Voted AGAINST HR-4003, and FOR SYG:

Rep. Eagle (R): Voted AGAINST HR-4003, and FOR SYG:

Rep. Bracy (D): Voted FOR HR-3002, and AGAINST SYG:

Rep. Hutson (R): Voted AGAINST HR-4003, and FOR SYG:

Rep. McGhee (D): Voted FOR HR-3002, and AGAINST SYG:

Rep. Hood (R): Voted AGAINST HR-4003, and FOR SYG:

Rep. Grant (R): Voted AGAINST HR-4003, and FOR SYG:

Rep. Slosberg (D): Voted AGAINST HR-4003, and FOR SYG:

Chair of Judiciary Committee, Rep. Gaetz (R): Voted AGAINST HR-4003, and FOR SYG:

Sponsor of HB-4003, Rep. Williams (D): Not eligible to vote on Judiciary Committee

Roll Call Vote on HB-4003: Bill fails on 11-2 vote.

OK, that’s it. Hope you all enjoyed!

Keep your eyes open for a follow-on post on the testimony to the committee from the public, both for and against the bill.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Law of Self Defense Facebook
[If you like what I write, please “follow” me on Twitter, and “like” me on Facebook. My IT person says it matters. 🙂 ]

P.S.: Before I get 10,000 emails objecting to the use of the picture of the injured George Zimmerman for a Stand-Your-Ground piece–I KNOW THE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH STAND-YOUR-GROUND. But that case IS why this effort to repeal Stand-Your-Ground was initiated, for political reasons, so in that sense I thought the photo appropriate. (Plus, we ought never give up an opportunity to undercut the false “Saint Trayvon” narrative.)


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

FL Lawmakers Seek to Repeal Stand-Your-Ground AND Ease Home Invasions, Kidnappings & Carjackings

Hey folks,

We’ve all heard recent rumblings about some legislators in Florida seeking to make political hay by “changing” or “improving” the state’s Stand-Your-Ground law.

We can now observe the text of their proposed bills for this purpose, and see that what they are actually doing is revoking Stand-Your-Ground completely–and not JUST Stand-Your-Ground, but the entire Florida statute 776.013, “Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.” in its entirety.

In fact, the Stand-Your-Ground provision is only one section–section (3)–of 776.013.  In addition, 776.013 also provides legal protections for a defenders in a “home invasion,” “car-jacking,” and “kidnapping” scenarios.

Specifically, section (1) of 776.013 provides a legal presumption that a defender was in reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm when they are using deadly defensive force against a person who is unlawfully and forcibly entering their dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or against someone who is forcibly removing (e.g. kidnapping) from the dwelling, residence of occupied vehicle.

In addition, section (4) of 776.013 provides for a legal presumption that a person who unlawfully and forcibly enters a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle intends to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.

It is also those “home invasion” protections–NOT just 776.013’s Stand-Your-Ground provision–that goes away should the proposed “anti-Stand-Your-Ground” bills become law.

It is noteworthy, I think, that NO PART of 776.013–not Stand-Your-Ground, and not the legal presumptions of reasonable fear or violent intent–played ANY ROLE WHATEVER in the George Zimmerman trial.

In the Florida State Senate, Senator Geraldine F. “Geri” Thompson (D) is advancing Senate Bill 116 (SB-116). This bill has already been heard by a select (e.g., “political theater”) committee of the Florida senate, and has now been referred to the state senate committees on the judiciary, criminal justice, and rules.

An essentially identical bill, HB-4003, is being advanced in the Florida State House of Representatives by FL Representative Alan B. Williams (D):

The draft bill is to be heard by the Florida House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice this Thursday afternoon.

I’ll keep following these and providing updates as circumstances warrant.

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

VIDEO: US Senate Stand-Your Ground Hearings, Sen. Graham (R-SC) Shows Up (10/29/13)

Hey folks,

Here’s “Republican” Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) showing up at the Stand-Your-Ground hearing in the Senate. He kinds of meanders around for 10 minutes. His only accomplishment, which I presume was inadvertent, is to set up Dr. John Lott’s knock-out punch on the childish nonsense spouted by Prof. Sullivan of Harvard and Attorney LaBahn.

The only real gold in this clip is at about the 10:30 point when Dr. Lott steps in, but you need to view the earlier portion of the video to truly enjoy Dr. Lott’s dispensation of those intellectual children.

Also, don’t forget that I did an overview of the entire hearing at Legal Insurrection: “Stand Your Ground” opponents mangle law and Trayvon facts at Senate Hearing

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Facebook: LOSD


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

VIDEO: US Senate Stand-Your Ground Hearings, Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL) (10/29/13)

Hey folks,

Here’s my first video post of yesterday’s Senate hearing from one of the anti-self-defense contingent (other than, of course, Sen. Durbin, who called the meeting), US Representative Gutierrez.

It’s pretty much all Progressive nonsense. The only really notable part is where Gutierrez says he is pushing legislation to ban inexpensive guns–presumably the only guns affordable enough for poor people to purchase in defense against criminal predation. Guess Gutierrez hates poor innocent people.

Also, don’t forget that I did an overview of the entire hearing at Legal Insurrection: “Stand Your Ground” opponents mangle law and Trayvon facts at Senate Hearing

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Facebook: LOSD


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

VIDEO: US Senate Stand-Your Ground Hearings, Senator Cruz, Follow-Up (10/29/13)

Hey folks,

More Ted Cruz goodness–these are follow-up comments, after the various witnesses brought to testify in the hearing had completed their prepared remarks:

In particular he notes that then-Senator Obama voted for self-defense immunity laws in Illinois before he was elected to higher office. Cruz also jabs at Sen. Durbin’s efforts to target ALEC and chill free speech. Durbin’s hissy-fit in response can be seen at about the 8:20 mark, telling the audience “don’t take my word for it, take the word of the NAACP.” Haha. “Racism!!11!”, the ultimate refuge of the coward. 🙂

Also, don’t forget that I did an overview of the entire hearing at Legal Insurrection: “Stand Your Ground” opponents mangle law and Trayvon facts at Senate Hearing

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Facebook: LOSD


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

VIDEO: Dr. John Lott, CPRC, Speaks at Senate Stand-Your-Ground Hearings

Hey folks,

Following up on my earlier posts on yesterday’s US Senate hearing on Stand-Your-GroundI’m please to provide the full-length video of the testimony of Dr. John Lott, Jr., long known to all of us in the self-defense community as the author of the seminal text, More Guns, Less Crime.  Today Dr. Lott leads the Crime Prevention Research Center.

Dr. Lott also had additional valuable testimony, after these prepared remarks, when he was questioned by some of the Senators in the hearing, but I’ll have to post those up later.

More to come, including Dr. Ilya Shapiro of CATO, as well as some anti-self-defense folks (if I feel like bothering with the latter).

Also, don’t forget that I did an overview of the entire hearing at Legal Insurrection: “Stand Your Ground” opponents mangle law and Trayvon facts at Senate Hearing

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Facebook: LOSD


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

VIDEO: US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Speaks at Senate Stand-Your-Ground Hearings

Hey folks,

Following up my earlier post of Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) opening remarks in the Senate’s Stand-Your-Ground hearing yesterday, I’m pleased to follow up with the introductory remarks by the representative of the Senate’s minority party, US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX):

More to come, including Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center and Dr. Ilya Shapiro of CATO, as well as some anti-self-defense folks.

Also, don’t forget that I did an overview of the entire hearing at Legal Insurrection: “Stand Your Ground” opponents mangle law and Trayvon facts at Senate Hearing

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Facebook: LOSD


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

VIDEO: US Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) Opens Senate Stand-Your-Ground Hearings

Hey folks,

Yesterday the US Senate held hearings on the self-defense law commonly referred to as Stand-Your-Ground.  I did an overview of the events over at Legal Insurrection:

“Stand Your Ground” opponents mangle law and Trayvon facts at Senate Hearing

At the time I wrote that post I had only limited video available to share with everyone.  Since then I’ve been working my way through the full-length video, and as I get it formatted, edited, and uploaded to the Law of Self Defense Youtube page I’ll post notices here.

Right now I’ve got the opening remarks of Chairman Dick Durbin, US Senator (D-IL):

Keep your eyes open for notices here when I get the others up. Next in line: US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Facebook: LOSD


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

VIDEO: Self-Defense Attorney Andrew Branca: The Reality and Politics of "Stand Your Ground"

Here’s another video clip from the lengthy interview of yours truly by Glen Evans, of Warrior Men and Self Defense Digest.

Here we discuss the legal realities of “Stand Your Ground”, and distinguish between the tactical application of “Stand Your Ground” on the one hand and self-defense immunity laws on the other–two very different legal constructs that are two often incorrectly conflated.

[UPDATE: Sorry, folks, this video seems to have disappeared off Youtube.]

South Carolina Father Wins Self-Defense Immunity in Shooting of Bystander

Hey folks,

A father in South Carolina who fired his handgun in self-defense–and in the process killing an apparent innocent bystander–has successfully argued that he is not subject to criminal or civil liability under the state’s self-defense immunity law.

South Carolina’s self-defense immunity statute–§16-11-450. Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil actions; law enforcement officer exception; costs.–is essentially identical to Florida’s self-defense immunity statute currently under legislative review (as covered by Legal Insurrection here)–§776.032. Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.

Darrel Niles, a purported bystander killed by Shannon Scott firing in defense of himself and his family.
Darrel Niles, a purported bystander killed by Shannon Scott firing in defense of himself and his family.

The Issue Is Self-Defense Immunity, Not “Stand Your Ground”

As is frequently the case in Florida, news coverage of this case invariably conflates the state’s self-defense immunity statute with other legal provisions involving issues of retreat, incorrectly referring to such immunity hearings as “Stand Your Ground” hearings. In fact, as was the case with the George Zimmerman trial, this South Carolina case had nothing whatever to do with Stand Your Ground, which is covered by completely different South Carolina statutes (§16-11-420. Intent and findings of General Assembly and §16-11-440. Presumption of reasonable fear of imminent peril when using deadly force against another unlawfully entering residence, occupied vehicle or place of business.)

For my full-length write-up of this case, check out my post over at Legal Insurrection:

South Carolina Father Wins Self-Defense Immunity in Shooting of Bystander

Also, don’t forget my Law of Self Defense Seminar taking place in Columbia, South Carolina, in just about a week (October 19).  For more info, click here.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Columbia SC (10/19), Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.