Florida Democrat Aims to Repeal 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Florida Democrat Aims to Repeal 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
October 5, 2023

Tallahassee, Fl-Florida Senator Shevrin D. "Shev" Jones (D) of Miami-Dade has filed a bill that would abrogate Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ gun laws. 

In Florida, ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws exempt Floridians from a duty to retreat when protecting themselves or their property from an attacker. 

Senator Jones’ bill would install a duty to retreat and prohibit Floridians from using, or threatening to use, deadly force when protecting themselves or their property. 

Additionally, Jones’ proposed legislation would also make Floridians who use, or threaten to use, deadly force liable to potential criminal prosecution and civil action. 

Stand your ground laws were originally signed into law by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2005. Former Florida Governor Rick Scott reformed the law, shifting the burden of proof in potential litigation from the defendant to the prosecutor, meaning that prosecutors must prove that force was used unlawfully if seeking to charge those who used deadly force in accordance with the law. 

Florida Democrats have criticized ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws since their conception. 

This past June, Democrats refloated criticisms towards the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws after the shooting of Ajike Owens and the lack of prosecution on murder charges for her killer, Susan Losincz. 

According to the Democratic Party, “Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws make it nearly impossible to pursue (murder charges).”

“Until we see reforms, innocent people will continue to die at the hands of those emboldened by the law”, commented the party.

AJ Owens was shot through a front door by Susan Losincz after Owens sought to confront Losincz following a dispute between Losincz and one of Owens’ children. Susan Losincz alleges Owens attempted to knock the door down, and that she shot in self-defense.

The state attorney’s office explained that investigations surrounding the shooting did not unearth sufficient evidence to merit second degree murder charges. Namely, the attorney’s office claims the facts do not fulfill “depraved mind” requirements for second degree murder.

“As deplorable as the defendant’s actions were in this case, there is insufficient evidence to prove this specific and required element of second degree murder,” said the office’s statement.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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