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House to vote on Trayvon amendment

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House Democrats said Tuesday they will offer an amendment to push to overturn stand-your-ground self-defense laws in states like Florida.

The amendment, which would withhold some grants from states that have such laws, will come as part of the House’s debate on the Commerce Department spending bill.

“‘Shoot-first’ laws have already cost too many lives. In Florida alone, deaths due to self-defense have tripled since the law was enacted. Federal money shouldn’t be spent supporting states with laws that endanger their own people,” said Reps. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the two Democrats who are offering the legislation. “This is no different than withholding transportation funds from states that don’t enforce seat-belt laws.”

Florida’s law, which allows residents to use force in response to an attack without first having to retreat, has come under scrutiny after the nationally-polarizing death of teenager Trayvon Martin. George Zimmermann, a neighborhood watch volunteer, has been charged with murder in the case.

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