TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) –  Florida’s Stand Your Ground law still stands after the state’s Republican-controlled House voted down a measure Thursday that would have repealed it.

The eight-year-old law that allows the use of deadly force if someone believes his or her life is in jeopardy. HB 4003 is sponsored by Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee.

The vote followed testimony from both supporters of the law and those who called for its repeal.

Among those testifying were the parents of a Jacksonville teenager who was killed last year. An attorney representing the parents of Trayvon Martin also spoke.

The House Criminal Justice subcommittee also voted in favor of a separate measure that could allow people who fire warning shots to avoid being charged under Florida’s “10-20-Life” sentencing law.

The hearing and vote came after this past summer, a group of young people upset with the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 18-year old Trayvon Martin, spent weeks at the Capitol demanding that Gov. Rick Scott call a special session to repeal the law.

Instead of a special session, opponents of the law got a five-hour hearing Thursday.

The move by the House is unusual since the Legislature doesn’t often spend time on legislation that has little chance of passage.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach and chairman of the committee that will hold the hearing, has already said he does not support changing the “stand your ground” law.

But Gaetz said he wanted to give those opposed to the existing law a platform to debate their ideas.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments