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 They had also heard from some “expert witnesses”–by which I mean the head of the local NAACP branch (which wanted SYG repealed).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.
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.
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.