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 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.