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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

NRA in self-defense mode over Stand Your Ground

On the same day that a 19-member task force met to begin discussions surrounding Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law, the National Rifle Association released a statement in support of such self-defense laws.

"The National Rifle Association will work to protect self-defense laws on the books and advocate for their passage in those states that do not fully respect this fundamental right," the statement says.

The NRA helped get the law on the books in Florida, and then pushed for it in more than two dozen other states. Now a 19-member task force is taking a look at whether or not the law--which came into play in the Trayvon Martin case--should be changed or scaled back.

Also on Tuesday, NRA's top Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer sent out a missive to Florida's NRA and United Sportsmen members with a link to an pro-Stand Your Ground opinion piece written by incoming Senate President Don Gaetz, and his son Rep. Matt Gaetz.

The email quoted Sen. Greg Evers, who co-sponsored the Stand Your Ground law in 2005.

"I have been deeply disturbed by recent political attacks on law-abiding Floridian's fundamental rights of freedom and self protection," the email quotes Evers as saying.

Evers also said: "I stand with them 110% in full support of our Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground law."

Here's a full copy of the NRA statement:

The National Rifle Association always has and always will advocate the passage and preservation of self-defense laws. The alternative leaves the innocent in danger.

The vast majority of states do not impose a “duty to retreat” and most Americans support laws that clarify that Common Law, common-sense right. It empowers lawful people to defend themselves, and deters would-be murderers, rapists and robbers.

It’s a natural right. No law “gives” it or can take it away. It’s yours. It works. And its only alternative – the idea that distant, disinterested third parties can dictate after the fact that “you must retreat” – will never be accepted by the American people.

For these reasons, the National Rifle Association will work to protect self-defense laws on the books and advocate for their passage in those states that do not fully respect this fundamental right.

--@ToluseO

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 3:39pm]

    

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