CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Two former state legislators who voted for Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ bill in 2005 now say it has had unintended consequences.
Before the law passed, gun owners were required to try to escape danger before using a gun to defend themselves.
However, video of a man being shot and killed in a Clearwater convenience store parking lot has reignited the debate about the law. The shooter, Michael Drejka, has not been charged.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri cited ‘stand your ground’ when explaining why Drejka wasn’t arrested after the shooting.
Bob Henriquez (D) and Nancy Detert (R), both former state representatives from the Tampa Bay area, said they didn’t imagine the law would be a consideration in a case like that one when they voted for it in 2005.
“I had a personal reaction having voted for this law that I think, over time, it's been shown that there's some flaws,” Henriquez said.
Detert said she thought she voted against the bill in 2005, but records on the state Legislature website indicate otherwise.
“I can see what we were trying to do,” Detert explained. “I just don't think that bill accomplished it. I'm not embarrassed; I'm surprised I voted for it.”
She added that every time a new law is passed, it fixes one problem but creates others. That’s what happened with "stand your ground," she said.
Henriquez and Detert both agreed in 2005 that there was a need for the "stand your ground" law. Now, they both agree it needs some changes, but neither of them are in the Legislature anymore.
Henriquez, in particular, is calling on current legislators to make the changes.
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