Topeka A national coalition will push for repeal of a Kansas law that is similar to one at the center of controversy in the slaying of a Florida teen.
The Second Chance on Shoot First campaign seeks to repeal or reform so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws that give people the authority to defend themselves using lethal force if they have a reasonable fear of death or serious harm.
The law has come under scrutiny after the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Martin was shot and killed during a confrontation with George Zimmerman. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense. He has been charged with second-degree murder.
Twenty-six states, including Kansas, have such laws.
“Trayvon Martin’s killing in Florida has focused public attention on the consequences of these reckless laws,” said Ginny Simmons, director of the Second Chance on Shoot First campaign.
“People carrying guns now feel emboldened to resolve conflicts with firearms even if they could safely walk away, and police and prosecutors are uncertain about which shootings may be instances of legitimate self-defense and which are murders,” Simmons said.
Simmons said that in Florida, the number of “justifiable homicides” have tripled since enactment of the law.
Second Chance on Shoot First campaign has sent letters to all Kansas legislators, urging them to repeal or reform the law.
The Second Chance on Shoot First campaign partners include the NAACP, National Urban League, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ColorOfChange, National Action Network, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil and Human Rights and VoteVets.