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Senate Panel Approves "Stand Your Ground" Changes

L-R, Stand Your Ground task force member Rev. R.B. Holmes, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown and former National Rifle Association President Marion Hammer talk prior to a committee meeting Monday. Photo: Bill Cotterell

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted unanimously to write some restrictions into Florida's "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law Monday, with bipartisan support of two senators who were on opposite sides when the 2005 statute passed.

Even the National Rifle Association, which championed the law removing the prior requirement that citizens seek safety first in a dangerous situation, endorsed the compromise by Sens. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, and Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale. The proposal was prompted by the slaying of teen-ager Trayvon Martin in Sanford and the acquittal last year of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he feared for his life when he shot the black youth.

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