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With Stand Your Ground in spotlight, NRA launches campaign to defend it

On the same day that a 19-member task force met to begin discussions surrounding Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law, the National Rifle Association released a statement in support of such self-defense laws. 

"The National Rifle Association will work to protect self-defense laws on the books and advocate for their passage in those states that do not fully respect this fundamental right," the statement says.

The NRA helped get the law on the books in Florida, and then pushed for it in more than two dozen other states. Now a 19-member task force is taking a look at whether or not the law--which came into play in the Trayvon Martin case--should be changed or scaled back.

Also on Tuesday, NRA's top Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer sent out a missive to Florida's NRA and United Sportsmen members with a link to an pro-Stand Your Ground opinion piece written by incoming Senate President Don Gaetz, and his son Rep. Matt Gaetz

The email quoted Sen. Greg Evers, who co-sponsored the Stand Your Ground law in 2005. 

"I have been deeply disturbed by recent political attacks on law-abiding Floridian's fundamental
rights of freedom and self protection," the email quotes Evers as saying.

Evers also said: "I stand with them 110% in full support of our Castle Doctrine and Stand Your
Ground law."

Here's a full copy of the NRA statement:

The National Rifle Association always has and always will advocate the passage and preservation of self-defense laws. The alternative leaves the innocent in danger.

The vast majority of states do not impose a “duty to retreat” and most Americans support laws that clarify that Common Law, common-sense right. It empowers lawful people to defend themselves, and deters would-be murderers, rapists and robbers.

It’s a natural right. No law “gives” it or can take it away. It’s yours. It works. And its only alternative – the idea that distant, disinterested third parties can dictate after the fact that “you must retreat” – will never be accepted by the American people.

For these reasons, the National Rifle Association will work to protect self-defense laws on the books and advocate for their passage in those states that do not fully respect this fundamental right.



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Its about time they spoke up. The media has been foaming at the mouth for the past 2 months about the law and the NRA was silent. A backlash needs to form and citizens need to demand that the legislature not do anything to the SYG law. Rick Scott has proven himself a coward by even calling for a task force. But the real bad guy in all this is Ft. Lauderdale State Senator Chris Smith (soon to be minority leader in the florida senate) who is leading the charge for this law to be repealed. Him and his 11 other Dems in the senate will not be able to beat back against the 28 republicans who support the law. Hopefully those newly drawn maps favor the republicans as much as the democrats say they do and come november there will be even fewer Dems in the legislature to cause trouble.


There is only one fix that is needed with this law.

One who has engaged in pursuit of the person injured, should not be covered by its provisions. The law is not an excuse for someone who is attacked to turn into a hunter, track their prey down, and execute it. (That's what thugs do.)

In these circumstances, if there is substantial evidence of actual hunting (what thugs do), a judge should have to send the case to a grand jury. An arrest should not be allowed, until the grand jury decides against the defendant.

Otherwise, the law is absolutely fine.

I say this at the risk of being hunted down by some gun nut, but fortunately, thanks to the NRA, I have a "stand your ground" law to protect me.



I as well, support 100% and will defend Florida's "stand your ground law". Law enforcement and prosecution can decide whether an arrest should be made. Law abiding citizens finally have a law to protect their right to self defense and we are not going to let it go.


Nothing’s changed here A Black thug assaulted a guy on the streets, who defended himself.One less Black thug in this world..thank you Zimmerman!


The problem with self defense laws is protecting the truly law abiding people from gunmen with itchy trigger fingers like this Zimmerman guy. To pursue a person and then claim self defense is nonsense. Mixon v. State, 59 So.2d 38 (Fla., 1952)

John Steele

Thank u done Gaetz and Matt. Standing up for law abiding citizens is what a legislator should d

Brad Johnson

The legislature finally got some thing right and now the liberal media wants it changed. Stand your ground is a law that puts power back in citizens hands.

Derek Stalvey

I rarely think elected officials get some thing right. However, not allowing the media to dictate how laws are dealt with is an act of responsibility and restraint. It would be easier for the Gaetz brothers to do what the media wants and get praises. They are standing their ground.

Andy Smith

Insanity is a defense people use even when it doesn't apply. Should we take that law off the books as well? This is why we have trial by jury. Not by editorial.

Angie Smith

Republican don't usually get things right. But maybe these north Florida legislators got it right. Lord knows they dont have the problems up there we have down south. Thank you senator Gaetz.

Susie Jones

Keep fighting the left and the media for what you believe in. Lots of seniors who defended this nation can't fight an attacker off anymore. A gun ad the right to defend themselves is all that separates them from being a victim. Thank you gates boys.

Jack Patterson

Before enactment of "Stand Your Ground" laws, the common law known as the "Castle Doctrine" reasonably provided for self-defense: away from one's own property a person could use deadly force in self-defense if he/she could not safely retreat. What's wrong with that? "Stand Your Ground" merely provides a legal defense for armed vigilantes to roam the streets and commit murder. States that have enacted such laws have blindly knuckled under to the wishes of the NRA, whose only interest is promoting guns, not law and order.


Nobody has the right to run around my neighborhood as a self appointed vigilante looking for people to shoot. George Zimmerman is an idiot looking for trouble and he got it. This law should not be used as a defense for someone who logically should not have been allowed to own or carry a firearm. If the NRA uses that to keep him out of prison they are making a travesty of themselves as an organization.


@Jack Patterson: Jack, the SYG law actually encompasses several statutes, with SYG being only one element. When one is in a life or death situation, there simply may not be enough time to determine if an avenue of safe retreat exists. In 1921, in the case of Brown v. United States, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, "Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife."

As to "stand your ground" specifically, consider what former law enforcement captain Masaad Ayoob had to say on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsQeTKnD_f0

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