Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz is leading an effort to create a national self-defense law.
Gaetz, in a press release issued on Friday, said he and a handful of other GOP lawmakers had introduced the National Stand Your Ground Act, which is modeled after Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, of SYG.
“This bill would ensure that all Americans have the right to defend their life from an attacker,” Gaetz said. “If someone tries to kill you, you should have the right to return fire and preserve your life.”
The other co-sponsors included Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Greg Steube of Florida, and Randy Weber of Texas.
Gaetz noted that Florida and 34 other states already have SYG laws.
The other 15 have what are known as “Duty to Retreat” laws, which force people facing an imminent threat of death to flee to safety.
The bill itself says that a person “is justified in using, threatening, or attempting to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believe that using, threatening, or attempting to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”
“A person who uses, threatens, or attempts to use deadly force in accordance with this paragraph does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand your ground if the person using, threatening, or attempts to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.”
The crimes that constitute a forcible felony include treason, murder, manslaughter, sexual battery, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, aggravated stalking, aircraft piracy, unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb, and any other felony “which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.”
“The National Stand Your Ground Act is consistent with notions of both the Second Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment, and is legally consistent with many judicial decisions across the country, including Kyle Rittenhouse’s ‘not guilty’ verdict from weeks ago,” Gaetz said in the press release.
“Let’s reaffirm in law what exists in our Constitution and in the hearts of our fellow Americans. It’s time to federalize Stand Your Ground laws, so that ALL Americans stand united in the right to protect our own lives.”
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