Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis isn’t messing around when it comes to dealing with rioters and looters. In fact, DeSantis has reportedly drafted “anti-mob” legislation that would expand the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law to allow armed citizens to defend themselves against violent looters and rioters.
Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law originally just eliminated the duty of a person to retreat before using deadly force to counter a threat. In 2017, lawmakers in Florida changed the law to force the burden onto prosecutors to disprove a defendant’s claims of self-defense.
A report in the Tampa Bay Times said other key components of DeSantis’ proposal would “enhance criminal penalties for people involved in ‘violent or disorderly assemblies,’ make it a third-degree felony to block traffic during a protest, offer legal immunity to drivers who claim to have unintentionally killed or injured protesters who block traffic, and withhold state funds from local governments that cut law enforcement budgets.”
The measure would also prohibit anyone charged with crimes related to assemblies from being released on either bail or bond before having an initial court hearing in front of a judge. It also would lead to the termination of any government employees convicted of participating in such assemblies.
This new legislation from DeSantis comes in response to months of protesting and rioting this summer, on a small scale in Florida and on a much larger scale in other cities across the United States.