Stand Your Ground Act of 2023: A New Bill Could Make It the Law of the Land
Defending Against a Violent Attacker
The legal standard known as “stand your ground” could become the law of the land under a new bill introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.). This standard allows people to use deadly force to defend against a violent attacker.
On Thursday, Gaetz and Mullin announced legislation called the Stand Your Ground Act of 2023 that would make “stand your ground” the legal standard for self-defense throughout the United States.
Every American Has the Right to Defend Themselves
“Every American has the right to defend themselves and their loved ones from an attacker. If someone tries to kill you, you should have the right to return fire and preserve your life,” Gaetz said Thursday.
The Florida Republican said, “We must abolish the legal duty of retreat everywhere.”
“States like Oklahoma and Florida recognize that in some cases, the use of lethal force is justified to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm. Every American should have the right to defend himself or herself against imminent threats to personal safety without the duty to retreat,” Mullin said, who filed a Senate version of the bill. “I’m proud to introduce the Stand Your Ground Act in the Senate to codify these commonsense self-defense protections for all law-abiding Americans.”
‘Duty To Retreat’ Favors Attackers: Gaetz
The “stand your ground” self-defense standard caught widespread media attention after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012.
Martin, a 17-year-old, was fatally shot after an altercation with 28-year-old George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman was charged with murder but argued that Martin had attacked him and that he fired in self-defense. A jury found Zimmerman not guilty after a trial.
The shooting sparked criticism of Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws, with prosecutors and gun control proponents arguing that the legal standard makes it harder to determine who was the aggressor in a fatal altercation and whether a shooting was legally justified.
In an interview with Fox News, Gaetz said his support for the “stand your ground” standard actually solidified after Martin’s death. Gaetz had served in the Florida House of Representatives and worked on the Criminal Justice Subcommittee while the legislature faced national calls to repeal the state’s “stand your ground” laws.
- Stand Your Ground Act of 2023 could become the law of the land
- Allows people to use deadly force to defend against a violent attacker
- Every American has the right to defend themselves and their loved ones from an attacker
- ‘Duty To Retreat’ Favors Attackers: Gaetz
Stand Your Ground Act of 2023: A new bill introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) could make “stand your ground” the legal standard for self-defense throughout the United States.
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