The Washington Times - May 24, 2012, 09:36AM

A majority of Florida voters support the state’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law that was called into question in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, according to a poll released Thursday.

The survey by Quinnipiac University found that 56 percent of registered voters support the law, which allows persons to use deadly force in their own defense. Only 35 percent oppose it.

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Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26 during a confrontation with the teen. Mr. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in a case that has attracted national scrutiny.

Support for the law is especially strong among registered Republicans — 78 percent are in favor of the statute. Among independents, 58 percent support the law. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats oppose it.

There is a racial breakdown in the polling as well: 61 percent of white voters and 53 percent of Hispanic voters support the law, but 56 percent of black voters oppose it. Mr. Zimmerman’s father is Hispanic, while the victim was black.

The survey also found that 51 percent of Florida voters oppose stricter gun-control laws, and 49 percent disagree with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s proposal to ban guns from downtown Tampa during the Republican National Convention in August.