Florida Rep. Alan Williams, Democrat, proposed a bill last week that if passed would repeal the controversial “stand your ground” law, which received a lot of attention after the killing of Trayvon Martin almost a year ago.
Williams believes that the law, which gives an individual the right to use force as self-defense when one feels threatened, has failed. In order to be passed, the bill will have to go through the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala), an original co-sponsor of the law.
Baxley said the law was created to protect would-be victims of violence. He says the law protects those who pursue the other person.
Baxley is still in support of “stand your ground” and believes it gives greater protection to Florida residents. Baxley said problems with the law arise only when it is not applied correctly. He says these problems can be fixed if law enforcement and courts are trained to better understand how the law should be used.
Baxley said any bill that reduces the protection of Florida residents worries him. He plans to read through the final bill very carefully in order to make sure the rights of citizens in Florida are not compromised.
Though Baxley is still behind the law he co-sponsored in 2005, he said he will wait to read through the final drafts of the bill proposed before making any decisions.
There is no official release date for the final bill. Baxley said he believes the bill draft will be released before the House goes into session on March 5.