Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
For Immediate Release
Contact: Brendan Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org
ANOTHER NRA LAW IN FLORIDA RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Stand your ground linked to rise in gun homicides
WASHINGTON - An updated Stand Your Ground law became the second piece of NRA-backed legislation in Florida ruled unconstitutional this year. The state legislature usurped the Florida court system to update the 2005 law and make it easier for defendants to receive immunity and avoid trial.
Before the legislature passed the NRA's update, defendants who invoked Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law had to prove they'd acted in self-defense when shooting someone. That's the typical approach to asserting an immunity defense; the person saying he or she is immune has the burden of proof. The NRA's new law, now ruled unconstitutional, changed that and instead required prosecutors in a pre-trial hearing to disprove the self-defense claim.
Florida's concealed carry permitting standards are among the weakest in the nation. Those standards make it no surprise that the state's Stand Your Ground law has been linked to a significant rise in firearm homicides.
Brady Campaign president Dan Gross said, "With this law the NRA and Florida legislators gave dangerous people a 'get out of jail free card'. We applaud today's ruling against this dangerous and unjust law. Earlier this year their law restricting doctors from talking about gun safety was struck down as unconstitutional too. The Florida legislature should stop passing gun lobby laws that put citizens at risk and violate the constitution."
Carol Rescigno, President of the Sarasota Chapter of the Brady Campaign said, "We're thrilled about this ruling. While we've got a long way to go, Florida feels just a little bit safer and a little more just than it did yesterday. The scary reality remains that, in Florida, just about any dangerous person can get their hands on a concealed carry license. And this dead law gave them a license to kill. Floridians need to make clear that the legislature is responsible for our safety, not the NRA's unconstitutional wish list."
The mission of the Brady organization and its Million Mom March is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.
About Us: The Brady Campaign and Center, united with the Million Mom March, is a national network of over 90 grassroots chapter affiliates mobilized to prevent gun violence at the community level. The network has played a vital role in expanding Brady background checks in the six states that have passed legislation since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and produced the largest national protest of gun violence in U.S. history - The Million Mom March, Mother’s Day 2000.