President Obama may currently be calling on the states to review their respective “stand your ground” gun laws, but he wasn’t always so opposed to the right-to-carry rule.
In 2004, while a senator in Illinois, he co-sponsored legislation that allowed for the same rights.
The pertinent legislation was SB 2386, amending the criminal code of 1961. It was introduced in the 93rd General Assembly session and passed into law on July 28, 2004.
The text summary read: “Provides that it is an affirmative defense to a violation of a municipal ordinance that prohibits, regulates or restricts the private ownership of firearms if the individual who is charged with the violation used the firearm in an act of self-defense or defense of another. Effective immediately.”
The Illinois General Assembly website indicates then-Sen. Obama signed on as a co-sponsor on March 25, 2004.
Fast-forward to 2013, post-acquittal of Florida resident George Zimmerman, and Mr. Obama is now denouncing the very same laws he once supported.
Last Friday he said, the Illinois Review reported: “I think it may be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations, confrontations and tragedies as we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.
“I know that there’s been commentary about the fact that stand your ground laws in Florida were not used as defense of the case. On the other hand, if we’re sending a message as society in our communities that someone who is armed has a right to use those firearms even if there’s a way for them to exit from the situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we’d like to see?”
Mr. Obama then posed the question: If Trayvon Martin had been armed, would he have been legally justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman if he had felt threatened?
“And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws,” he said.