For the past 10 months, the 19-member Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection has been reviewing Florida Statute 776, also known as the “stand your ground” law, which defines justifiable use of force. On Friday, the task force released its final report, concluding that the law is good and should not be overturned.
The Task Force, led by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, held public meetings in Tallahassee, Longwood, Arcadia, West Palm Beach, Cutler Bay, Jacksonville and Pensacola. Aided by thousands of comments from the public and from law enforcement experts, the panel concluded that Floridians have the right to defend themselves, the right to stand their ground when attacked, and the right to protect themselves and their families from violence.
Page 5 of the final report’s top recommendations states:
The Task Force concurs with the core belief that all persons, regardless of citizenship status, have a right to feel safe and secure in our state. To that end, all persons who are conducting themselves in a lawful manner have a fundamental right to stand their ground and defend themselves from attack with proportionate force in every place they have a lawful right to be.
“I want to commend the 19 members of the Citizen Safety Task Force and Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll for their thorough and thoughtful consideration of Florida Statute 776,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a release from his office. “This diverse Task Force listened to the people of Florida and provided a platform for different viewpoints to be shared on the important issue of citizen safety. I met with Trayvon Martin’s parents and our hearts go out to the entire family for their loss, especially as we approach the anniversary of his death. We look forward to reviewing this final report as we approach the beginning of the legislative session.”
The final report was delivered to the Florida Senate president, the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and the Governor’s Office. The report, video links to all of the task force meetings, correspondence and public input considered is located on the task force website.