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Report: Gov. DeSantis pushes to expand Stand Your Ground law with 'anti-mob' legislation

WPEC West Palm Beach logo WPEC West Palm Beach 11/11/2020 Luli Ortiz

Changes could be coming to Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.

According to the Miami Herald, Gov. Ron DeSantis is drafting an “anti-mob” legislation and it is an expansion of current Stand Your Ground law, which means you can’t be charged for killing someone if you're in fear for your life.

Those who oppose it say expanding the law could will give armed people the legal right to fatally shoot suspected looters, or anyone damaging a business.

See also: DeSantis moves to prevent defunding of police, stiffer penalties for rioters

This new push is reportedly in response to police brutality protests that happened in Florida and across the nation this year.

Caption: CBS12 News reporter Jay O'Brien looks at a move by Gov. DeSantis to expand the Stand Your Ground law. (WPEC){p}{/p}{p}{/p}

Local businesses owners are against this drafted proposal.

“We don’t want to give people the opportunity to go out there and commit crime unnecessarily because it could turn to something totally different,” said Derrick McCray, community activist and owner of McCray's Backyard BQQ. 

RELATED: What is a 'Stand Your Ground' law in Florida?

McCray also says this could be the start of a dangerous lifestyle in a society that’s already plagued by violence.

“That’s why we have the police department and we’re not defunding the police, so that they can handle situations like that," he said. 

The Miami Herald also says the legislation would make it a third-degree felony to block traffic during protests, give immunity to drivers who claim to accidentally hurt or kill protestors blocking traffic and withhold state funds from cities that cut police budgets.

“Looking like the Wild West,” said Gregg Lerman, a criminal defense attorney in West Palm Beach who has handled stand your ground law cases.

“I don’t think this law should be passed. I think this is a dangerous law," he said. "I think this law doesn’t lead to peace in the streets.”

Lerman says it’s a danger for those practicing their First Amendment right of free speech, adding “you can end up being killed simply because of some subjective view of somebody who’s carrying a handgun or an AR-15.”

The Miami Herald says the legislation draft has been sent to Florida’s House Judiciary Committee.


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