Senators approve tweaks to "stand your ground" law

1:19 PM, Oct 8, 2013   |    comments
This June 20, 2013 file photo, George Zimmerman listens as his defense counsel Mark O'Mara questions potential jurors during Zimmerman's trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Florida
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - Lawmakers are considering changes to the "stand your ground" law that came under scrutiny after a neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman fatally shot an unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would require the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to develop training guidelines for neighborhood watch groups.

The bill (SB 130) would also make it clear that law enforcement should fully investigate any use of force even when a self-defense claim is used.

It also clarifies that anyone who uses force against an attacker can still be responsible if they injure or kill an uninvolved bystander.

The bill was approved on a 7-2 vote. It combines legislation sponsored by Democratic Sen. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale and Republican Sen. David Simmons of Altamonte Springs.

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