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Task Force concludes "Stand Your Ground" law is good | News

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Task Force concludes "Stand Your Ground" law is good

Tallahassee, Florida -- Nearly a year after it was created, the 19-member Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection concluded the "Stand Your Ground" law is good and should not be overturned.

The Task Force's top recommendation states:

The Task Force concurs with the core belief that all persons, regardless of citizenship status, have a right to feel safe and secure in our state. To that end, all persons who are conducting themselves in a lawful manner have a fundamental right to stand their ground and defend themselves from attack with proportionate force in every place they have a lawful right to be.

"I'm a little disappointed. I think there are many people who would have liked to have seen the law repealed. But at least it's full of action suggestions," said State Representative Darryl Rouson.

Other recommendations from the Task Force include examining the term "unlawful activity", increasing training and education to agencies regarding self defense laws, and reviewing applicable standards for neighborhood watch groups.

Other lawmakers said they're not surprised by the report.

"It's what is expected. When you put a task force together of people who wrote the bill and full of people who support Stand Your Ground. I knew the Task Force wouldn't come up with anything earth-shattering," said State Senator Chris Smith.

SEE ALSO: What is the "Stand Your Ground" law?

This comes after the group held public meetings in seven cities across the state, after outrage over the Sanford shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The teen was killed by neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman. He is claiming "Stand your Ground" as his defense.

In the Bay area, it's been used several times - including security guard Seth Browning - who shot and killed another man during a March 2012 incident in Palm Harbor.

READ: Palm Harbor deadly shooting

That was determined to be justified.

Also, Trevor Dooley who shot and killed David James in their Valrico neighborhood in 2010, tried to argue that as a "Stand Your Ground" case. 

The motion, however, was denied before his trial began. Dooley was ultimately convicted of manslaughter.

Representative Rouson said now, it's about moving forward.

"It's up to us as the legislature to take these recommendations and go beyond them and do some action," said Rep. Rouson.


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