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Saturday, Apr 19, 2014
Politics

Spokesman: Nelson says Stand Your Ground should be re-evaluated

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Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, who appeared to take no position on Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground laws on self-defense in a news conference earlier this week, in fact believes the law should be re-evaluated or changed to make sure it isn't misused, a spokesman said.

Asked Thursday about news reports suggesting he wasn't taking a stand on the law, Nelson told an MSNBC interviewer, "I think the Florida law ought to be changed. I think where there are the extreme cases-for example, a guy gets into a fight, he leaves, goes to his car, gets a gun, and comes back and kills the person he was fighting-to use Stand Your Ground in that circumstance is ridiculous.

"I think the law needs to be considerably tightened," he added. "Maybe down the road we do need to change (Florida's) law and similar ones in other states these and completely eliminate them, but in the meantime, they need to be severely constricted."

Spokesman Dan McLaughlin said Nelson had taken an earlier position on the law saying, "I support the right of people to own guns and use them lawfully to defend themselves in the face of a grave threat. But I don't want to see this abused. The Legislature in Florida will be facing proposals to change the law and I hope it will."

In the news conference earlier this week, Nelson made seemingly neutral comments regarding the law. He said the federal government should not get involved in state criminal statutes, and didn't recommend any specific action by the state Legislature, saying only that the state should "understand what the excesses are and keep those laws from being used for the excesses."

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