Friday, April 13, 2012

What exactly is the "Stand Your Ground" law???

Stand Your Ground explained, and  made ridiculously simple
copyright 2012 by jon gutmacher

OK . . .  it's come to this.  Even after spending a chapter in my book explaining it -- some of my readers still don't seem to understand it.  So . . .  to make it as simple as it can ever get:

"Stand Your Ground" is one subsection of F.S. 776.013(3) -- and I'll break it down into steps:

If you're not engaged in unlawful activity
If you are actually illegally attacked by another person
If you are in any place where you are allowed to be at the time
You may "stand your ground" -- and meet force with force in defending yourself or another - rather than retreating or trying to retreat.

However -- if you decide to use "deadly force" -- you still must have a reasonable belief of imminent death or great bodily harm -- or -- if the other person is committing or attempting to commit a forcible felony (actually engaged in such or imminent) (not just any felony -- but must be a "forcible felony") -- then,  you may use deadly force to stop that forcible felony if the use of deadly force is objectively reasonable.  If it's not -- then you've used "excessive force" -- and you could be prosecuted from anything from aggravated battery to manslaughter.

That's it.  Nothing more.  Nothing less

Hope that helps
jon gutmacher


  1. Jon, any chance you can get yourself on the Governor's Gun Law Task Force and get some of the issues you talk about in your book addressed properly.

  2. I emailed the Governor last week indicating my experience, and interest. I would assume that if I am not invited -- you will have a real idea of where the "task force" will be headed. I say that because if the Governor decides to skip over probably the person most familiar with this particular subject -- with legal, training, law enforcement, journalistic, and practical backgrounds -- then something is definitely beyond "fishy".

  3. Any update on your request to the Gov?

  4. I finally got a reply that they will put me on a panel at one of the panel meetings -- likely in West Palm Beach around October. The requests to be appointed were all basically ignored.