ALEC Pushes Stand-Your Ground Bills | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

ALEC Pushes Stand-Your Ground Bills

Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which received widespread media coverage after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin Feb. 26, 2012, is similar to Mississippi's Castle Doctrine, with one major difference: location doesn't matter. The law, Title XLVI, Ch. 776.012 of Florida law, a person can use deadly force and does not have the duty to retreat if "[h]e or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony." This provision allows a person to use defensive deadly force just about anywhere he or she feels threatened.

The second provision of the law sets up the defense of one's home, work or vehicle, much like Mississippi's Castle Doctrine.

The Florida law became a model for legislation that the American Legislative Exchange Council has promoted across the country. ALEC is a group made up of legislators, corporate organizations and lobbyists, including the National Rifle Association and Walmart, the nation's leading gun retailer.

In August 2005, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer asked legislators and lobbyists at a meeting of ALEC's Criminal Justice Task Force to adopt Florida's stand-your-ground law as model legislation for other states. At the time, Walmart co-chaired the Criminal Justice Task Force, which accepted the NRA's pitch.

To date, more than two dozen states have adopted similar legislation that originated with ALEC and the NRA.

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