Gov. Rick Scott has added two members to the task force that will review the state's controversial Stand Your Ground law, and other safety issues.
Scott, along with Attorney General Pam Bondi, selected Sheriff Jerry Demings, of Orange County and Chief David L. Perry, the chief of Florida State University Police Department.
Some are crying foul over the makeup of the 19-member task force, which includes several gun-friendly legislators and two of the lawmakers who helped write the Stand Your Ground law. The chair, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, is reportedly a member of the National Rifle Association, which helped pass the controversial law at the heart of the Trayvon Martin case.
Here's our story on the task force, which many believe will not be able to produce any meaningful change to an NRA-backed law, given its gun-friendly makeup.
The task force has been criticized not only for a lack of diversity of thought, but also racial and age diversity. A group called the Dream Defenders marched to Scott's office on Friday to protest the lack of young people (specifically young minority males) on a task force created in the wake of the death of a young black teenager.
Demings has at least once taken on the gun lobby, hiring a lobbyist in 2011 that fought against an NRA-backed "open carry" law. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the lobbyist used drivers license photos of alleged gun-toting motorcycle gang members to fight against the law. The lobbyist was investigated for violating a law that makes it illegal to disclose gun owners' information, and lambasted by NRA's top lobbyist, Marion Hammer. He was later cleared.
Perry has gone up against the NRA as well. In 2011, he opposed an NRA-backed bill that would have allowed guns on the campuses of Florida colleges and universities, including FSU.
"You have young people still learning how to be adults, and unfortunately alcohol and drugs are part of that equation on campus," Perry told the Miami Herald in 2011. "This is a place of learning and nurturing and you shouldn't be put in a position where you feel intimidated by someone walking around with a gun."
Here's the press release from Scott's office:
Governor Scott Names Two to Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, in collaboration with Attorney General Pam Bondi, Governor Rick Scott added two members to the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection. This action completes the process of naming individuals to the task force.
Sheriff Jerry Demings, of Orlando, is the Sheriff for Orange County.
Chief David L. Perry, of Tallahassee, is the chief of the Florida State University Police Department.