FL Governor Looks To Expand ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law, Allow Citizens To Defend Against Rioters, Looters

Who would argue against citizens being allowed to defend themselves during times of lawlessness? Unfortunately, since I covered the riots & looting in Portland and Sacramento, I can think of a few Democrat leaders who would. Florida’s Republican governor isn’t having it, though.

“Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has reportedly drafted “anti-mob” legislation that would expand the state’s Stand Your Ground law to allow armed citizens defend themselves against violent rioters and looters.

Written after violent rioters caused billions of dollars of damage to America’s cities over the summer, the proposal would expand the list of under Florida’s self-defense law to justify the use of force against rioters who engage in looting or arson that “results in the interruption or impairment of a business operation.”

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“The draft legislation put specifics behind DeSantis’ pledge in September to crack down on ‘violent and disorderly assemblies,’” the Tampa Bay Times reported. “Other key elements of DeSantis’ proposal would enhance criminal penalties for people involved in ‘violent or disorderly assemblies,’ make it a third-degree felony to block traffic during a protest, offer immunity to drivers who claim to have unintentionally killed or injured protesters who block traffic, and withhold state funds from local governments that cut law enforcement budgets.”

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The draft, obtained by the Miami Herald, has not yet been filed as an official bill in the Florida House or Senate.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground law “eliminated the duty of a person to retreat before using force to counter a threat — which critics say fosters a Wild West shoot-first, ask-questions-later mentality,” the Miami Herald reported. “It also gave judges more leeway to grant ‘immunity’ to someone they believed acted in self-defense before ever letting a case get to the jury.”

WATCH: Violence Breaks Out At ‘Stop The Steal’ Rally At CA Capital After BLM Shows Up

“In 2017, Florida lawmakers changed the law, forcing prosecutors to shoulder the burden of disproving a defendant’s claims of self-defense,” the paper added. “Prosecutors must prove by ‘clear and convincing’ evidence that someone was not acting in self-defense.”

While many conservatives praised the idea, not everyone was thrilled.

“It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions,” former Miami-Dade County prosecutor Denise Georges said. “It also allows for death to be the punishment for a property crime — and that is cruel and unusual punishment. We cannot live in a lawless society where taking a life is done so casually and recklessly.”

“What’s interesting to see is Gov. Ron DeSantis has so much time on his hands that he can craft legislation to address an imaginary issue in the state of Florida,” state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) said. “We don’t have a crisis with riots or with looters. What we do have is millions of Floridians pushed into poverty and unemployment as a result of the economic consequences of coronavirus.””

Excerpted from the Daily Wire.

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Jeff Rainforth is a freelance photographer & news editor covering events on the US/Mexico border, and riots & unrest in Democrat-run cities.
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About Jeff Rainforth 545 Articles
Jeff covers border news in the US and has traveled around the world documenting the border walls of other countries. He embedded with Hong Kong protesters covering their fight for freedom against the Chinese Communist Party, and regularly films inside of riots in Democrat-run cities in the United States. He is also the editor of Right Wing News. Jeff did a special 2nd Amendment project for Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill who killed Bin Laden, and he was the national rally organizer to free Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi from the Mexican prison. He is chairman emeritus of Ross Perot’s Reform Party of California, and a former candidate for governor. He wrote for former war correspondent & Breitbart contributor, Pat Dollard, and headed up his 30 person research team. Mr. Rainforth also wrote for the Wayne Dupree Show. Jeff is a two-time nominee for the prestigious Blog Bash Award for best activism for organizing the national movement to form a select committee on Benghazi, and for his role as the national rally organizer to free Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from Mexican imprisonment. Jeff appears in Sgt. Tahmooressi's mother's book, "When Light Prevails."

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