Last month’s shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., brought an avalanche of criticism directed at Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
Yet the controversial 2005 law was just one of dozens of pro-gun laws that have gotten their start in Florida — forging the state’s “Gunshine” reputation — before spreading to other parts of the country.
Lobbying for passage of such laws has been the powerful National Rifle Association.
“The NRA has been a victim of their own success,” said Dan Gelber, a Miami Beach attorney who fought many of the gun expansion laws as a legislator in the 2000s. “They’ve won every big issue, so they’re left trying to fight over fringe issues. Lots of elected officials are afraid to cross them.”