Gun Issue, Stand Your Ground To Get Airing In Senate

January 3, 2017

State lawmakers will have their first chance to discuss a controversial measure that would expand how and where Florida’s more than 1.67 million concealed-weapons license holders can carry handguns.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Greg Steube, is scheduled Jan. 10 to take up the measure (SB 140), which would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry handguns in public and also would allow them to be armed on college and university campuses.

Under the bill, they also could carry guns at airport passenger terminals; in elementary and secondary schools; and at legislative and local government meetings.

Steube is sponsoring the bill, which is matched in part by separate proposals in the House.

During the 2016 session, open-carry and campus-carry measures failed to advance through the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was chaired by former Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami. He lost a re-election bid in November. The campus-carry proposal has been opposed by university and college leaders, campus law-enforcement officials and faculty members.

Also on the Jan. 10 agenda is a measure (SB 128) that would shift the burden of proof in “stand your ground” self-defense cases. The bill would shift the burden of proof to prosecutors during evidentiary hearings in such cases.

The bill stems from a Florida Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that said defendants have the burden of proof to show they should be shielded from prosecution under the “stand your ground” law. In “stand your ground” cases, pre-trial evidentiary hearings are held to determine whether defendants should be immune from prosecution.

The same proposal passed the Senate during the 2016 session but failed to get to the House floor.

by The News Service of Florida


3 Responses to “Gun Issue, Stand Your Ground To Get Airing In Senate”

  1. Barry Hirsh on January 4th, 2017 5:06 pm

    I’m one of the Republicans who voted against de la Portilla, BECAUSE of his betrayal on this issue, and while I don’t want a Democrat in that seat, sellouts must PAY.

    End of story.

  2. Norman J. Miller on January 4th, 2017 11:15 am

    Our judicial system is founded in the premise that your innocent until proven guilty.
    Stand you ground as it currently stands, requires the victim of an confrontation to prove their innocence. I hope this new bill will pass and correct this injustice.

  3. nod on January 3rd, 2017 4:02 pm

    For most people this is a good thing. It will be beneficial to the majority. As in anything it is not a perfect solution.

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