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Bloomberg Shoot First

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					                                   T H E C I T Y O F N EW Y O R K
                                   O F FI CE OF T HE M A Y OR
                                     N E W Y O R K , N Y 1 0 00 7

                                                              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                              April 11, 2012
                                                              No. 124
                                                              www.nyc.gov

    MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND NATIONAL AFRICAN-AMERICAN LEADERS
    ANNOUNCE NEW NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP TO REFORM OR REPEAL
   FLORIDA-STYLE “SHOOT FIRST” LAWS IN STATES ACROSS THE NATION

NAACP, National Urban League, National Action Network, ColorOfChange and VoteVets Join
    “Second Chance on Shoot First” Campaign, www.SecondChanceOnShootFirst.org

   Sharp Increase in ‘Justifiable Homicides’ in States that Recently Passed Shoot First Laws

        Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, leaders of national African-American organizations and
others today announced a new national grassroots campaign to repeal or reform the Florida-style
“shoot first” laws that have passed in 25 states. The campaign – “Second Chance on Shoot First”
– will focus on convincing state legislators who have supported shoot first laws to join the
growing movement to reform or repeal these dangerous laws. The National Rifle Association
drafted Florida’s law in 2005 and helped enact similar versions in other states, eventually
bringing the total to 25 states by 2010 and those states have seen sharp increases in justifiable
homicides. The Mayor made the announcement at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
where he was joined by Founder and President of the National Action Network the Reverend Al
Sharpton, Executive Director of ColorofChange.org Rashad Robinson, Senior Vice President for
Policy and Executive Director of the National Urban League Policy Institute Chanelle Hardy,
NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary Shelton, Florida Senate Minority Leader Chris
Smith, Co-Founder and Chairman of VoteVets.org Jon Soltz and former chair of the Association
of Prosecuting Attorneys Glenn Ivey.

         “It’s now clear: the NRA’s ‘shoot first’ laws that have passed in 25 states have
undermined the integrity of the justice system, and done serious harm to public safety,” said
Mayor Bloomberg. “They have sown confusion in police departments about when to make
arrests, made it more difficult for prosecutors to bring charges in cases of deadly violence and,
most importantly, they have been responsible for a major increase in so-called ‘justifiable
homicides.’ These laws have not made our country safer; they have made us less safe and it’s
why we’re launching a nationwide campaign to reform or repeal shoot first laws. The NRA’s
leaders weren’t interested in public safety. They were interested in promoting a culture where
people take the law into their own hands with a gun and face no consequences for it.”

       “While it may have begun with all the best intentions, Florida’s Stand Your Ground has
evolved into a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card for those the law was never intended to protect,” said
Chris Smith, Florida State Senator and incoming Minority Leader. “And that needs to change.”

                                               (more)
         “As an Iraq veteran watching this national story unfold, I am finding it hard not to
conclude that Florida’s law gives people much more leeway to shoot someone than our own
military gives to our troops in war,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of
VoteVets.org. “The Rules of Engagement that I had to follow in Iraq approached threats with a
clear set of steps our troops had to take before firing a weapon. The bottom line goal was always
to minimize unnecessary deaths, and failure to do so would lead you open to charges of
manslaughter and a court-martial. I was shocked to learn what goes for the military and half the
states in America is no longer the case in Florida and the two dozen other states with new ‘Shoot
First’ laws.”

        “We are glad to stand with Mayor Bloomberg and others in an effort to reverse the trend
toward these Kill-at-Will laws – ghostwritten and promoted by the NRA,” said Chanelle Hardy,
Senior Vice President for Policy and Executive Director of the National Urban League Policy
Institute. “We believe that creating an opportunity for state legislatures to reconsider their earlier
support for these laws is a good thing, and we urge them to do the right thing, and take a stand
against these measures.”

        According to data provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement, examples of the rise in cases of justifiable homicide in states
that have passed “shoot first” laws include:

      Florida cases increased from 12 per year to 36 per year (200 percent), comparing 5 years
       before and after passage of the shoot first law;
      Texas cases increased from 26 per year to 45 per year (70 percent), comparing 3 years
       before and after passage of the shoot first law;
      Arizona cases increased from 10 per year to 15 per year (49 percent), comparing 4 years
       before and after passage of the shoot first law;
      Kentucky cases increased from .5 per year to 6 per year (1,050 percent), comparing 4
       years before and after passage of the shoot first law;
      Georgia cases increased from 7 per year to 14 per year (100 percent), comparing 4 years
       before and after passage of the shoot first law;
      Missouri cases increased from 3 per year to 7 per year (122 percent), comparing 3 years
       before and after passage of the shoot first law;
      Michigan cases increased from 7 per year to 10 per year (36 percent), comparing 4 years
       before and after passage of the shoot first law;
      Oklahoma cases increased from 5 per year to 7 per year (35 percent), comparing 4 years
       before and after passage of the shoot first law;
      South Carolina cases increased from 4 per year to 6 per year (57 percent), comparing 4
       years before and after passage of the shoot first law; and
      Alaska cases increased from .25 per year to 1.75 per year (600 percent), comparing 4
       years before and after passage of the shoot first law.

                                                - 30 -

       Contact:        Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna                       (212) 788-2958

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