New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is calling for an end to “shoot first” laws — better known as “Stand Your Ground” laws — in the wake of the “not guilty” verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman.
“Sadly, all the facts in this tragic case will probably never be known. But one fact has long been crystal clear: ‘shoot first’ laws like those in Florida can inspire dangerous vigilantism and protect those who act recklessly with guns,” Bloomberg said in a statement Sunday.
According to Bloomberg, laws such as Florida’s are written by “gun lobby extremists in Washington” act to “encourage deadly confrontations” by giving shooters a “justifiable homicide” excuse.
“Last year, I joined a broad coalition of civic leaders to shine a light on the impact of ‘shoot first’ laws and work to eliminate them, in Florida and wherever they have been passed,” Bloomberg continued. “We will continue that work – and the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed child attempting to walk home from the store, will continue to drive our efforts.”
Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law was passed in 2005 and allows people to use deadly force if they or others are in danger of serious harm, according to CNN.
According to ProPublica, 24 other states have similar “Stand Your Ground” laws.
Zimmerman’s attorneys did not use the “Stand Your Ground” law as a defense in the trial — instead they argued self-defense.