Created in the wake of national uproar over Trayvon Martin’s shooting death, a 19-member task force spent six months traveling the state and taking public testimony about Florida’s most controversial self-defense law. The result? Little, if anything, will change, says the Miami Herald. The task force commissioned by Gov. Rick Scott to review the Stand Your Ground law prepared its final report Tuesday, indicating that the law is mostly fine as it is. In a report to the Legislature, the group offered up only minor tweaks to the Stand Your Ground law — including changes that could actually make it easier to claim self-defense after killing someone.
“We reaffirm the validity of the legislation that was enacted in 2005 and the importance of the ability of a truly innocent victim to be able to stand his or her ground” if they are attacked, said Sen. David Simmons, a Republican who helped draft the law. The report sparked immediate criticism from gun control advocates and some lawmakers. “I really truly didn’t expect anything,” said Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens. “It was a Republican-dominated commission and it was full of people who supported Stand Your Ground to begin with.” Passed in 2005 and backed by the NRA, the law grants legal immunity to people who use deadly force if they reasonably believe their life is in danger. Two dozen states have passed similar laws since 2005, and several studies show that so-called “justifiable homicides” have increased significantly in the places that have enacted stand your ground laws.