Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stand Your Ground Law Is Not What We Are Being Told - Its A Pack Of Lies

What does Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law actually say self defense with deadly force really is? Stand your ground laws are being spun by politicians and anti gun rights groups to say that they create a license to kill. This assertion is not the truth anywhere in the US. They also say they should be eliminated. They say that  the laws should expressly say that the person using deadly force can’t be the aggressor. It already does that in Florida. Just read the actual aw below.

Those attacking the law as a license to kill have not read the law or are parroting those who are saying that is. It’s obvious that those who attack the law have not read it. It’s even more obvious that those making the claim against the law could care less whether what their claim is true or not. But, it makes good campaign rhetoric and fundraising for anti gun rights causes.

The Florida law is quite clear on the legal use of deadly use of force in self defense. It is concise, being just three short paragraphs long. It explicitly states when the law can be used and when it is no defense.

The only justification for deadly self defense there is that there must be a "reasonable belief" that the person using deadly force believes that there will be imminent death or great bodily harm if the other person is not stopped. If that “reasonable belief” is not present, then deadly force is expressly prohibited. And, if that is the case, then a crime has occurred if deadly force is used. The person can be charged with any relevant crime up to murder.

What other additions could be made to the law to make that fact more clear?

That “reasonable belief” is a rebuttable presumption. If the Prosecutor has evidence that the belief wasn’t present, it can be rebutted at the Courthouse.

This is the actual Florida “Stand Your Ground Law.”
Please see TadConfused Comment below for more clarification.

You don't have to be a lawyer to understand it.

776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

Here's the thrust of 776.013, a separate section

"A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

Stand Your Ground and Churches stops criminals there too.

Churches in many states are “Gun Free” zones that are promoted by various anti gun rights groups across the country. But, in 2007, a madman who killed several people at a Colorado church was stopped by a non paid gun carrying security guard church member where her carry was allowed. The Colorado pastor credited her for saving many lives.

Anti gun rights proponents say that no one should be able to carry a firearm, concealed or not.  But, now another armed congregant, this time at a North Carolina church with a concealed handgun permit and with his handgun in the church, may have prevented mass slaughter.

A man who had previously been ranting at the church previously returned armed the second time. He was spotted after the initial visit in the parking lot while carrying a shotgun. The congregants had locked the door after seeing him heading toward the church.

State law there prohibits concealed permit holders from carrying inside a church there unless given permission by church officials. He got that permission after the man made his first visit to the church. The concealed permit holder held off on drawing his sidearm until the intruder kicked open the locked door. At that point, he drew his gun and pointed it at the shotgun wielding man. He was distracted enough for the pastor to grab the shotgun and disarm him, allowing churchgoers to subdue the man.

It’s alleged that the man’s sister gave him the shotgun and drove him to church. Both have been charged with various crimes.

And, here’s a Florida Stand Your ground case from this week.

In Florida, where stand your ground is being politicized, a grocery store employee killed gun carrying 16 year old Quintavius Moore during his failed robbery attempt. Police are investigating all the circumstances, but the female store employee likely will face no charges. This teenager will undoubtedly be counted in the anti gun statistics of “Children” killed by guns. 


  1. The law's longer than three paragraphs. It was just split up into several sections of Chapter 776 of the Florida Statutes. Read Chapter 776 (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/0776.html) and check the history under several of the different sections. Same law as Section 776.012, which you site above.

    The Stand Your Ground Act of 2005 carries an exception for those who provoke attacks or are aggressors. Check Section 776.041(2). They cannot use deadly force or force likely to do great bodily harm unless certain additional conditions are met:

    776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

    . . . .

    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or

    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

    Note I'm only stating the law so that people are aware there are limitations to the Stand Your Ground act in Florida. I'm not applying it to the facts of the Zimmerman/Martin altercation. People with a better knowledge of the facts, as opposed to the rumors, of the case should apply the law to the facts.

    Thanks for your column.

  2. To live outside the law, you must be honest.