A year after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, proposals to change the controversial Stand Your Ground law are dead in the state Legislature.
"Repeal of Stand Your Ground or major modifications of Stand Your Ground I don't think get past the first committee," said Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville.
He responded to questions about guns and school safety on Monday in an interview with Sun Sentinel reporters and editors at the newspaper's Editorial Board.
Stand Your Ground has received intense scrutiny since the February, 26, 2012, death of Martin, a Miami Gardens 17 year old, in the central Florida city of Sanford.
The 2005 law says a person has "the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm."
The shooter, Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman said he felt threatened by Martin, who was unarmed.
When state Sen. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale, the Democratic leader in the Senate, filed legislation to revamp Stand Your Ground he said Martin's shooting "underscored the ease with which an aggressor can dodge prosecution simply by claiming fear of bodily harm. And it underscored the abuse of the law by non-law abiding citizens and the confusion law enforcement faced about its basic provisions."
Smith's legislation would prevent someone from provoking violence or pursuing someone to provoke violence and claim justification for a shooting because of fear. It would also remove automatic immunity from arrest and clarify that a person can be arrested following a questionable death.
Gaetz said the first committee for proposals to change Stand Your Ground is chaired by state Sen. Greg Evers, a Panhandle Republican. "Senator Evers' idea of gun control is a steady aim," he said.
The Senate president said there's a better chance for legislation sponsored by state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.
She wants voters in each county to have the chance to vote in the August 2014 primary on whether they'd like to increase taxes to pay for police in schools and provide mental health referrals for students and school staff.
She wants to allow up to an extra property tax of 50 cents for every $1,000 of taxable property value, which would cost the owner of a $250,000 home with a full homestead exemption could pay $100 more per year.
Sobel sponsored the legislation in response to the December school massacre in Newtown, Conn.