Lawmakers favor repair of 'stand your ground,' not repeal


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In the wake of Trayvon Martin's death, Gov. Rick Scott appointed a citizens task force to study Florida's "stand your ground" law. Like many task force reports, this one came up with no results.

Rev. R.B. Holmes was the task force's vice chairman. With no action on the nine recommendations, Holmes said it's time to abolish "stand your ground."

"The moral thing to do is to fix this law, amend this law or simply repeal this law," Holmes said.

The latest insults were from "stand your ground" advocates over the weekend verdict in the Michael Dunn trial in Jacksonville, in which a mistrial was declared in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

The Martin family attorney said the law discriminates against people of color.

"We have to communicate that all life matters, all life is precious," said Attorney Ben Crump.

While the call is to repeal "stand your ground," lawmakers are much more likely to lean toward repairing it.

One bill would put limits on neighborhood watch volunteers. Another would allow people to fire a warning shot and not be guilty of a crime.

"It would allow somebody to say, 'You know, I've got a gun,' to show it rather than to shoot somebody and then claim stand your ground," said Rep. Neil Combee.

Lawmakers were reluctant to do anything with the task force report or guns last year while the George Zimmerman trial was playing out.

This year could be different, but a call for a retreat from "stand your ground" is likely to fall on deaf legislative ears.