NATIONAL (BTSNews) Jan. 15, 2013 -- Police are investigating the scene of a shooting that occurred early this morning in Hollywood, Florida. There, a resident of the area successfully resisted a robbery by shooting and killing his would-be robber. Just hours earlier, in Miami-Dade, Florida, a convenience store clerk resisted an unrelated robbery by shooting and killing one of the two suspects.
BEHIND THE SCENES, Florida is one of 16 states that has a "Stand your ground" law regarding the use of firearms. Such laws generally provide that a person has no duty to retreat, but may "stand his ground" and use deadly force if that person reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. This Florida gun control law prohibits police from arresting a person who uses deadly force in self-defense unless there is probable cause that the force used was unlawful.
This law has been invoked in December 2012 by a Florida pizza customer after he shot another customer who complained that his pie wasn’t coming out fast enough. The law was also invoked in Novermber 2012 by a man who shot and killed an unarmed teenager in a dispute about loud music. Most notably, the law drew national attention last February when George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, shot and killed unarmed Trayvon Martin.
Police are continuing their investigations in the two latest shooting deaths, which initially appear to be the result of legitimate self-defense efforts by the gun owners. None of the incidents mentioned above, however, are alleged to have involved assault weapons, high capacity magazine or background check issues. It remains unclear how proposed national gun control legislation by the Obama Administration would prevent such shootings in the future.
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