Joe Waldron, Legislative Director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, testified today at a commission hearing in Florida that was examining their stand-your-ground law. The commission was established by Gov. Rick Scott to make recommendations about the law in response to the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman shooting incident.
BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today defended the legal concept of Stand-Your-Ground, which is the law in 24 states, during a public hearing in Florida, where a movement is underway to change that state’s statute.
CCRKBA Legislative Director Joe Waldron told the committee examining Florida’s law that the state should not change a law that has been working for seven years. Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed a commission to examine the law earlier this year following public outcry over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The incident provided a launch pad for attacks on similar self-defense statutes across the country.
“But after that single incident nine months ago,” Waldron observed, “we’re told Florida’s stand-you-ground law is terribly flawed, and should be repealed or at least restricted severely. The law has been in place for seven years. Laws should not be made – or repealed – based on a single, anecdotal incident.”
He noted that in some states, the stand-your-ground concept has been adopted via “black letter law,” that is, by judicial rulings.
“The stand-your-ground concept has been through the courts all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Waldron said. “The legal concept governs federal case law regarding self-defense.
“In all 50 states,” he added, “if you are subjected to a potentially lethal attack or one that poses the risk of serious bodily injury, you have the right of self-defense, up to and including the use of lethal force.”
“Laws that protect millions of citizens should not be changed because of public reaction to a single case,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We are hopeful that Florida lawmakers use common sense and back away from any attempt to change or repeal this statute.”