The New York Times details the work of the National Rifle Association to advance the Castle Doctrine, otherwise known as “stand your ground” laws, in Wisconsin and other states. In Wisconsin, the idea was extended to include include self-defense on lawns, sidewalks, and swimming pools outside the residence, as well as vehicles and places of business.
The expanded bill is the newest of more than two dozen stand your ground statutes that have been enacted around the U.S. in recent years. Those laws are coming under increased scrutiny after Trayvon Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman in Florida. Critics see the laws as part of a national campaign by the NRA, which starts its annual meeting in St. Louis tomorrow, to push back against limits on gun ownership and use. That effort has been assisted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has promoted model legislation based on Florida's law; the council, known as ALEC, is a conservative networking organization made up of legislators, corporations like Walmart, a large retailer of long guns, and interest groups like the rifle association. Bills pending in several states that would allow concealed weapons to be carried on college campuses, in churches, and in bars.