“shoot first” laws and the trayvon martin shooting - Think Progress by zhangsshaohui123

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									                   “SHOOT FIRST” LAWS AND THE TRAYVON MARTIN SHOOTING

 “Shoot first” laws, like the one in Florida, are an expansion of so-called “castle doctrine” laws, which
  permit the use of deadly force for self-defense in one’s home. Coupled with a presumption that the use
  of deadly force was reasonable, these laws can escalate everyday conflicts into deadly encounters.
     Castle doctrine: Our legal system recognizes that a person has the right to defend himself and his home
      from invasion and attack. Typically, the burden falls on the defendant to prove that his or her use of
      deadly force was reasonable.
     “Shoot first” or “stand your ground” laws: These laws expand the castle doctrine in several key
      ways:
       Presume that the use of deadly force was reasonable, placing the burden on a prosecutor to prove
         otherwise;
       Expand the use of deadly force for self-defense beyond the home, including vehicles and – in many
         states – public places;
       Permit the use of deadly force in more circumstances, including when there is no imminent danger;
       Eliminate duty to retreat before using deadly force, even if retreat can be accomplished safely;
       Immunize the shooter from criminal prosecution and civil liability.

 Florida was one of the first states to enact “Shoot First” legislation in April 2005. After aggressive
  lobbying by the NRA, 34 states now have some form of expanded right to self defense, and bills are
  pending in at least 5 others.

     25 states have broad “shoot first” laws that allow the use of deadly force in self-defense outside the
      home with no duty to retreat: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas,
      Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina,
      Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and West
      Virginia.1

           Another 5 states are considering such “shoot first” laws outside the home: Alaska, Iowa,
            Massachusetts, Nebraska, and New York.

     9 states have extended the castle doctrine to specified locations outside the home, such as a vehicle
      or place of business or employment: Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota,
      Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin

           Another 2 states are considering such laws: Colorado and New Jersey

 “Shoot First” laws have NRA and ALEC “DNA”:

     These state laws are ghost written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), founded in
      1973 by the right-wing activist Paul Weyrich. Its big funders include Exxon Mobil, the Olin and Scaife
      families and foundations tied to Koch Industries.

     The NRA is a funder and has apparently paid ALEC to draft and push state bills to expand the castle
      doctrine.2 Florida’s “shoot first” law is the same as ALEC’s model legislation. The subsequently
      passed “shoot first” laws all have various strains of ALEC “DNA.”



1
  Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have broad “shoot first” laws that were enacted prior to the 2005 NRA /ALEC
coordinated effort to pass these laws nationwide.
2 http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/article/20120319/NEWS/703199997/1117/laws-ghostwritten-by-conservative-group-

activists-say&template=fairfaxTimes

								
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