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Thurston tries to end Stand Your Ground

Rep.. Perry Thurston

Rep.. Perry Thurston

Thurston tries to end Stand Your Ground

    TALLAHASSEE, FL — Recently, in a rare procedural move, supporters of repealing Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law forced a vote on repeal. The House debated and then voted down an amendment by a vote of 83-31.

The amendment was introduced by Minority Leader Perry Thurston (D – Fort Lauderdale) to the “warning shot” bill introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R). On Wednesday, Rep. Gaetz responded to a question by saying the objective of his bill was to “strengthen” Stand Your Ground.

“The Republican legislature did not allow the bill to repeal Stand Your Ground to come to the floor of the full House,” said Thurston. “If there is going to be a debate on expanding Stand Your Ground, I thought there should be a debate about the

real solution – repealing it.”

Florida was the first state to pass a “Stand Your Ground” law in 2005. Under the law, defendants in court can claim they felt threatened as part of an affirmative defense. The current statute does not require a real threat to exist.

Defenders of the law claim that it has removed a burden from law-abiding citizens trying to defend themselves. Critics, like Thurston and Rep. Alan Williams, chair of the Black Caucus in the House, say that it encourages people to be unnecessarily aggressive and creates conflict where it otherwise might not have existed.

Thurston has launched a petition on his website to grow support for repeal. So far, more than 3500 people across Florida have signed it. The petition can be found at


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