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'Stand Your Ground': Poll Finds 56 Percent Of Floridians Support Controversial Law

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STAND YOUR GROUND QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY
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56 percent of Floridians still support the state's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, according to a Quinnipiac University study.

The poll queried 1,722 registered voters by telephone over a 5-day period last week. Results showed 78 percent of 742 Republicans surveyed support Stand Your Ground, compared to only 58 percent of Independents and 32 percent of Democrats.

Quinnipiac said 61 percent of white respondents, 53 percent of Hispanics, and 30 percent of blacks support the law, which has become a topic of debate after the killing of unarmed Miami teen Trayvon Martin.

Martin was walking through his father's girlfriend's gated community in Sanford in February when self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman reported Martin looked "suspicious" and shot Martin during a confrontation.

Zimmerman, who told police he killed the teen in self-defense, was not arrested for more than six weeks. Police cited the 2005 "Stand Your Ground" law, which removes a person's duty to retreat from an assailant and allows the use of deadly force in any place the person has a right to be.

The Quinnipiac poll also revealed a "huge partisan split" on stricter gun control. Democrats favoring tighter controls by 73 percent, but only 22 percent of Republicans follow suit. There was also a gap along gender lines: 54 percent of women favor stricter laws, compared to only 34 percent of men.

"Despite the controversy, public opinion seems to be solidly behind 'Stand Your Ground' and slightly against stricter gun control," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The one thing on which most Floridians seemed to agree: 83 percent don't think legally concealed guns should be allowed in the state Capitol building.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article gave incorrect numbers for support for "Stand Your Ground" from Democrats and black respondents. The study said only 32 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of black voters support the law.

WATCH: A Florida task force debates the "Stand Your Ground" law in light of the Trayvon Martin shooting:

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