TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's self-defense laws - including a measure known as the "stand your ground" law - will be examined over the next year by a task force put together by Gov. Rick Scott.
Scott announced the start of the task force a week after George Zimmerman was arrested on second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of teenager Travyon Martin. Zimmerman has maintained that he acted in self-defense. He was not initially charged on the night of Martin's death.
Scott maintained the panel - which includes attorneys, judges, prosecutors and the legislator who sponsored the "stand your ground law" - does not have any "preconceived notions" on what changes, if any, should be made.
"I'm a firm supporter of the second amendment," the Republican governor said. "I also want to make sure we don't rush to any conclusions on the stand your ground law or any other laws in our state."
Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll will lead the task force, which will have it first meeting in May. She said the plan is to draw up recommendations for Scott and the Florida Legislature before the start of the 2013 session next March.
Florida passed the "stand your ground law" seven years ago. It allows use of deadly force to prevent "imminent death or great bodily harm," and it removed a person's duty to retreat in the face of such peril that was required in a previous self-defense law. The change was strongly backed by the National Rifle Association.
Carroll herself voted for the measure when she was in the Legislature but would not say on Thursday whether she thought the law should remain on the books.
Sen. Chris Smith, who has been pushing for swifter action by Scott, criticized the idea of waiting until next year before changing the law. He said Scott should consider calling back lawmakers into special session.
"For the sake of Florida's image and in the interest of real public safety, I urge the governor to pick up the pace," Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, said in a statement.
Smith has already put together his own task force which held its first meeting earlier this month. That panel was told Thursday that the Martin shooting is one example of the ambiguity surrounding the "stand your ground' law and the potential unintended consequences it has created.