TOPEKA, Kan. -- Wednesday, the Second Chance on Shoot First Campaign sent letters to all 165 members of the Kansas State Legislature urging them to reform or repeal their Shoot First Law. Letters were also sent to 4,000 lawmakers in 25 other states that have these laws on their books.
In the letter, Ginny Simmons, Director of Second Chance on Shoot First, asks legislators to reconsider Florida-style Shoot First laws that have sparked an increase in vigilantism across the nation:
“Trayvon Martin’s killing in Florida has focused public attention on the consequences of these reckless laws. Twenty-six states have enacted ‘Shoot First’ laws since 2005, over the strong opposition of law enforcement. And experience has now shown that these laws encourage vigilantism, sow confusion among police, and stymie prosecutors.
“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. These laws have deadly consequences: according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, so-called ’justifiable homicides’ by citizens have tripled in Florida since it enacted ‘Shoot First.’”
Second Chance on Shoot First also invited legislators to join the 250,000 Americans who have joined the campaign to prompt states to rethink these laws.
The 26 states with Shoot First legislation are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Since the campaign launched, legislators in several states have already announced efforts to reform or repeal Shoot First laws. Despite the national backlash against the NRA’s stealth promotion of reckless gun laws, the gun lobby is aggressively pushing new Shoot First laws in at least ten states. Legislators have blocked these laws in several states.
For more information: SecondChanceCampaign.org.