Florida Lawmakers Push to Change ‘Stand Your Ground’

Alterations to the controversial law have so far unanimously passed through the state Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

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174118095-protesters-rally-in-chicago-on-july-20-2013-to-express
Protesters rally in Chicago on July 20, 2013, to express anger over a not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

MIRA OBERMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Florida is making progress in attempts to tweak the state's notorious "Stand your ground" law, Mediaite reports.

Proposed modifications include the ability for law enforcement agents to conduct a proper investigation every time the law is invoked and allowing local enforcement departments to set guidelines for neighborhood-watch groups. The changes unanimously went through a Senate Criminal Justice Committee, with bipartisan backing and the support of a lobbyist for the NRA, Mediaite notes.

The controversial law gained national attention with the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who was later acquitted on murder charges.

Since then the law has remained under scrutiny, especially given the cases of Marissa Alexander—the woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot at an allegedly abusive ex (her case is now being retried)—and Jordan Davis, another unarmed teenager, who was shot and killed by Michael Dunn.

According to Mediaite, one of the bill's supporters insisted that the law should not be used "for vigilantism, for revenge or as an excuse to confront people."

Read more at Mediaite.