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Politics

NRA: Republican Reps Killing Stand Your Ground Bill 'Betrayal' to Florida Gun Owners

November 20, 2015 - 6:45pm


A House committee killed off a bill to shift the burden of proof in Stand Your Ground cases earlier this week and the National Rifle Association isn’t too pleased with the committee, calling the 6-6 tie vote a “betrayal” to law-abiding gun owners. 

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, would shift the “burden of proof” for Stand Your Ground cases, and give defendants more protection from prosecution by requiring prosecutors to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” whether a defendant is entitled to immunity at a pretrial hearing in order to disprove a claim of self-defense immunity. 

The bill’s swift death in the House committee drew fire from the NRA, which slammed several Republican state representatives for voting against the bill.

In an email sent to members, longtime lobbyist and former NRA president Marion Hammer singled out House Criminal Justice Committee chair Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, for orchestrating a betrayal to gun owners, Rep. Baxley, and the legislative process itself. 

During the meeting, two amendments were offered by Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Lake Worth, filed at the last minute in an effort to send the bill to a swift death.

Kerner’s amendments would have eliminated the financial penalties for prosecutors should a defendant successfully have their case dismissed by a judge and defendants would also have to show a “preponderance of evidence” supporting their claim to Stand Your Ground. 

Both Trujillo and Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, joined with four Democrat representatives to vote in favor of the two amendments, while two other members of the committee -- Reps. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, were allegedly asked to walk out of the meeting before the votes were cast.

Without Latvala and Pilon’s support, the bill’s amendments passed, and when it came time to vote on the bill itself, neither showed back in the room and the vote ended in a tie. 

There are no legislative “tie-breakers,” so if the bill’s vote is tied, it is essentially dead. 

Kerner acknowledged after the meeting that the amendments would have severely “gutted” the legislation had it not been killed off.

“It is important to recognize and remember the committee members who were loyal to the Constitution and your right of self-defense -- as well it is the betrayers,” read an email from the NRA. 

The NRA’s harsh push against Trujillo and Van Zant could set the tone against the two lawmakers for future proceedings, since the pro-gun group heavily backed the legislation.

The bill’s future is dim, but it’s not totally crossed out just yet. There’s still a possibility the legislation could be revived in the House and thrown into a package of different bills and ultimately pass, though it would be difficult to reach that point.

Regular session begins in January.

 

 

 

 

Comments

To be clear, Rep. Pilon voted Y on the bill as amended. He was absolutely present for the vote.

Baby Latvala is proving to be just like his Dad, a RIno! What a joke!

Law biding gun owners should not be faced with having to prove they were in their rights under the law. If they are law biding it will not be contested.

This law designed to set progress back centuries leaves scant hope for our future as a democratic people. Go ahead, have us return to the Wild West! Even though I would love to shove “an eye for an eye" in your face when one of your own lies bleeding in the street, I cannot. I will be among the first to mourn.

Wrong Dr. Elder. Prior to 1987, open carry in Florida was not a violation of law. That's 28 years, not centuries. Please come up with new material. The wild west meme is quite tired.

REPLACE THEM ! It's what you to tyrannical Representatives ! (Oh for the "old days" when you could "tar & feather" these scoundrels and charlatans and run them out of town). I wonder which Lobby and what lawyer arranged and paid the lagniappe payments to these pettifogging political hacks?

C. Breeze, I think I'll rename you to be known as the professor. You're a great teacher by example. Great usage of lagniappe, pettifogging, and charlatans. I haven't seen those in print in a good spell. Harks back to the Shakespeare scripts. Jackanapes, as pointed out by another commenter, is also right on the mark. Now-a-days I can see back where the good ole boys that administered the Florida county and state governments years ago were actually much better than the transplants of today. Much better.

Arreed! ^^ -.-^^ . Tar and Feather , The old West ,Okay before Law was established, I feel the Police do help the licensed carrier learn to protect themselves and back up a Peace officer in need.they do it here in my county, NE Fl. Using our local Shooting Range.

So much for any rational thought patterns on the far right . . . . . like Trump and Carson . . . . . simply delusional . . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . . .

This is the 2nd strike for Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater. He's a Lib "lap-dog" for the Dems. He voted against the up-coming Open carry bill recently when in his Committee. Clearwater...lets make sure we dump this Kirk next time he runs. He's no republican.

I believe you omitted the word "jackanapes" from your description of our elected representitives.

Legislators should vote the will of the people, not the NRA.

Ok Allison, now would be the time for a correction or retraction. Your lazy journalism is showing.

It would be a pleasure to vote and lobby against these traitors that voted against "Stand your ground". What's next for these idiots......vote against the "Castle Doctrine"?

I was asked to walk out on the bill. I refused and came back to vote on it. I only had to leave to,present my own bill in another committee. I dont walk on bills or amendments.. The amendments did come up while I was gone. I would have voted no on them given the chance. As gor Rep Latvala, you eill have to ask him. I have no idea why he wasnt there.

Thanks for letting us know what happened.

"Me thinks he doth protest too much" (W,Shkspr)....and STILL offers excuses for others... THIS is a prime example of a mealy-mouthed, obfuscating, "government mammary" sucking, example of who you people, who don't fully research the candidates you vote for; You deserve the "government" you get !

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