Stand-your-ground repeal effort underway

May 23, 2012

In the wake of the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, a national group is urging for the repeal and reform of so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws around the country, which includes Indiana’s.  

Seventeen year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer in February.  Many believe Florida’s Stand Your Ground law contributed to Martin’s death.  Such a law may be a legal defense for a person who uses deadly force when there’s a reasonable belief of a threat to them.

The Second Chance on Shoot First campaign is organizing efforts to repeal and reform such laws that exist in 26 states, including Indiana.  Campaign spokesman Christopher Brown says these laws create confusion for the public and law enforcement.

“Shoot first laws are creating a situation where the difference between an actual justified homicide and a murder or manslaughter is no longer clear.”

Brown says the campaign is going after laws that give people the right to use deadly force when attacked without requiring them to try to remove themselves from the situation first.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma says a repeal or reform of Indiana’s statute would be seen by some as a reform of gun rights.

“Most of our folks are strong Second Amendment defenders, including myself, but we’ll be happy to take a look at concerns with the current status of gun rights in Indiana.”

Bosma also says Indiana hasn’t experienced any problems like those Florida is dealing with now.