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Stand Your Ground Law Repeal Bill Filed by Florida Legislator

Alan Williams, a Florida legislator and a supporter of the Dream Defenders -- the protesters who staged a sit-in in Gov. Rick Scott's Tallahassee office over the controversial Stand Your Ground law -- has filed legislation to repeal the law.

Williams, a Tallahassee Democrat and outspoken critic of Stand Your Ground, filed HB 4003 on Monday. The bill would overturn the law that figured prominently in George Zimmerman's shooting of the unarmed Trayvon Martin.

The repeal, however, faces a steep uphill battle.

Williams sponsored the same bill last year, but it met its demise in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

This time around, William faces similar obstacles -- namely from a Florida Legislature that is mostly Republican and mostly against touching the law in any way, shape, or form.

Marion Hammer, head of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, who helped shape the legislation in 2005 in the first place, thinks the law is fine just the way it is.

"I have seen nothing to give me any indication that the Legislature wants to change the Stand Your Ground law," said Hammer, a two-term president of the NRA.

Hammer also pointed out Scott's blue-ribbon task force that was formed after the Martin shooting. The task force ruled that the law was just fine.

That task force, it should be noted, featured prominent Republican reps who supported the law in 2005 and others who cosponsored the law in the first place.

A few months later, Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury and walked free.

Williams likely knows the challenge to push the bill through, and the filing might just be a way to get attention to the issue, as the Dream Defenders did during their protest.

"It's not about gun control. It's about self-control," Williams recently told a radio station. "We hunt too. But we don't hunt young men minding their own business."

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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