Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is no stranger to controversy. Since being enacted in 2005, this law has attracted a great deal of attention from the media — mostly negative. The latest news surrounding Stand Your Ground comes from Time, and points to a rise in homicides linked to its passage. In light of this news, understanding the law is more important than ever for gun owners.
The Law Broken Down
The law was enacted as a means of giving those under imminent threat of either death or major bodily harm the power to use deadly force as a means of protection. It falls under self-defense in court, and applies to threats both within one’s home and vehicle. Before the passage of Stand Your Ground, Florida was similar to other states in that an individual under attack must first exhaust all other options before utilizing deadly force.
It is important to note that the law does not protect those who use deadly force in instances where that person is also engaging in an illegal activity. In situations where the person using this method of self-defense was the initial aggressor in the altercation, the law is only applicable if three things occur:
- The initial aggressor withdraws from physical interaction.
- The initial aggressor makes clear that he/she wishes to end the physical altercation.
- The other party continues the altercation with force.
Gun owners in Florida and elsewhere must have a thorough understanding of when and how deadly force can be applied in order to ensure they are legally protected, should the need for it arise. If you have questions about what is within your rights as a law-abiding gun owner, we are here to provide you with answers. Call a Miami gun law lawyer at Graham Legal today to learn more.