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Biden: Trayvon Martin's Death Should Spark Gun Law Debate


"the premise that it makes people safer is one that I'm not so sure of."

Vice President Joe Biden said the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin should prompt a debate about gun laws, particularly the state's "Stand Your Ground" statute.

"It's important that people be put in a position where their Second Amendment rights are protected, but that they also don't, as a consequence of the laws, unintendedly put themselves in harm's way," Biden said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Biden, a former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said any such discussion would be a state issue, not a federal one. Still, he expressed doubt over the idea that carrying a gun makes people safer.

"The idea that there's this overwhelming additional security in the ownership and carrying concealed and deadly weapons...I think it's the premise, not the constitutional right, but the premise that it makes people safer is one that I'm not so sure of," Biden said.

George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, has claimed self-defense in shooting Martin, who was unarmed. Zimmerman remains free, claiming protection under "Stand Your Ground," which permits using deadly force rather than retreating in a fight.

“I’m confident the people of Florida will debate and discuss whether or not this law, the Stand Your Ground law, whether is being applied as it was intended to [be] applied and whether or not as intended it makes sense,” Biden said. “But that’s a decision for the state to make."

Watch the clip below, via CBS:

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