Gov. DeSantis proposal would expand stand your ground

The Miami Herald reports it has obtained an early draft of a bill proposed by Gov. Desantis that would add language to Florida's stand your ground law to include defending against mobs, protecting property from looters, and using force in situations where protests become violent.   

The Governor's Office did not respond to FOX 35's request for comment, but lawmakers and lawyers are voicing their opinions about the idea. 

This year has seen protests and demonstrations escalate to mayhem in many of America’s major cities.  Since September, Gov. DeSantis has been working on the piece of legislation and it gives citizens the right to defend property, violently if necessary.

"This legislation is so reckless, I don’t know what to make of it…it allows people suspected of criminal mischief to be shot on sight," State Sen. Randolph Bracy told FOX 35 News.  

Bracy, a Democrat, represents District 11 in Orange County and he predicts this proposal will find tremendous Republican support and unanimous Democrat disapproval. 

"This is a political statement," Bracy said.

Bracy is concerned adding language to stand your ground to include so-called mobs will cause violence instead of stopping it.  He is not alone in that opinion.

 "Looking at it as a citizen, I think it's horrible, I think the stand your ground we have now is sufficient," said criminal defense attorney Michael Salnick. 

Salnick has defended several high profile cases involving stand your ground.  He said if Gov. DeSantis gets his concept for a bill that would be passed into law, the courts will be overwhelmed with baseless, "not guilty pleas."

"If somebody goes into a business and the business is disrupted and someone shoots a gun, then someone losses their life because they disrupted a business.  That's an open door to vigilantism," Salnick said,

Others think the legislation could be extremely effective and is necessary.  State Rep. Randy Fine of Brevard County, a Republican, is among those voices. 

"Giving someone the right to protect a home, a business, and property makes perfect sense to me," Fine said.

The next step for DeSantis is to find two representatives to introduce and file the bill.  No time-table has been released for the proposed legislation.