Local/State

Fayetteville residents learn about 'Stand Your Ground'

Friday, August 30, 2013

The gun debate and the recent acquittal of George Zimmerman inspired a community meeting in Fayetteville Thursday evening.

People talked about North Carolina's versions of the Stand Your Ground Law, and what parents can do to keep their children safe.

Where do we go from here was the big question on the minds of residents in attendance at the meeting.

Along with that bit of advice, a police dept crime prevention officer also warned residents not to see themselves as armed enforcers in their community.

The Trayvon Martin tragedy focused a lot of attention on Florida's Stand Your Ground laws.

State Rep. Rick Glazier told a crowd of more than 60 people, including parents and children, that North Carolina's gun laws are not as broad as those in Florida. However, it does allow the use of deadly force if there is a presumption of fear when facing an intruder.

Glazier told the crowd, it's important for North Carolina gun owners to know when they can shoot and when they can't.

As for keeping children safe, one parent said she told her children that if they are stopped by a law officer, don't be confrontational.

"Yeah it is a different world. What I told my children when they were young things are different now," said parent Lena Johnson. "We got to make sure they know, don't act suspiciously, don't hold your hands a certain way and always keep good eye contact and certainly don't be confrontational."

Crime prevention experts urged residents to get to know their neighbors, and look out for each other, and to remember that community watch members are not armed enforcers.

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cumberland county, local/state, greg barnes
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