Gov. Ron DeSantis is suggesting changes to Florida law, including an expansion to its self-defense law commonly known as Stand Your Ground. Expanding Stand Your Ground is part of a draft legislation proposal which has been sent from the governor to lawmakers ahead of the 2020 sessions, which begins next week. The proposal mirrors some of the main ideas the governor spoke about during a news conference in Polk County in December, when he promised an alleged crackdown on disorderly protests. Among the changes would be an addition of justifications for people using force against one another over criminal acts during protests, like looting, by expanding Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. “You must be first attacked, secondly, you must be in a place where you have the right to be,” said former state Sen. David Simmons. Simmons helped to pass the original Stand Your Ground law. He doesn’t disagree with expanding it. “Properly drafted it could make good sense,” said Simmons. Critics, though, say it could provoke vigilantism and provide justification for killing people over property crimes. “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,” said Orlando Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith. Smith is preparing for the Legislature to convene next week and calls the proposal a distraction. “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,” said Smith. The governor’s draft proposal would also enhance criminal penalties for people involved in assemblies which become violent of disorderly. It also calls for withholding state money from any local government decreasing police funding.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is suggesting changes to Florida law, including an expansion to its self-defense law commonly known as Stand Your Ground.

Expanding Stand Your Ground is part of a draft legislation proposal which has been sent from the governor to lawmakers ahead of the 2020 sessions, which begins next week.

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The proposal mirrors some of the main ideas the governor spoke about during a news conference in Polk County in December, when he promised an alleged crackdown on disorderly protests.

Among the changes would be an addition of justifications for people using force against one another over criminal acts during protests, like looting, by expanding Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

“You must be first attacked, secondly, you must be in a place where you have the right to be,” said former state Sen. David Simmons.

Simmons helped to pass the original Stand Your Ground law. He doesn’t disagree with expanding it.

“Properly drafted it could make good sense,” said Simmons.

Critics, though, say it could provoke vigilantism and provide justification for killing people over property crimes.

“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,” said Orlando Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.

Smith is preparing for the Legislature to convene next week and calls the proposal a distraction.

“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,” said Smith.

The governor’s draft proposal would also enhance criminal penalties for people involved in assemblies which become violent of disorderly.

It also calls for withholding state money from any local government decreasing police funding.

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