Text: H.R.2812 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/24/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2812

To encourage States to prohibit “stand your ground” laws and require neighborhood watch programs to register with local law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice, to direct the Attorney General to study such laws, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 24, 2013

Ms. Jackson Lee (for herself, Mr. Cummings, Ms. Bass, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. Gutiérrez, Ms. Hahn, Mr. Lowenthal, and Mr. Cohen) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To encourage States to prohibit “stand your ground” laws and require neighborhood watch programs to register with local law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice, to direct the Attorney General to study such laws, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Justice Exists for All of Us Act of 2013”.

SEC. 2. State “stand your ground” laws and neighborhood watch registration.

(a) In general.—For each fiscal year after the expiration of the period of implementation specified in subsection (b), a State shall—

(1) not have in effect throughout the State any law or policy that allows a person to use deadly force when such person is threatened that does not impose a duty to retreat before using such force in any place where such person is lawfully present (commonly known as “stand your ground laws”), except that a State may have in place a law or policy that permits a victim of domestic violence to use deadly force when such victim is threatened and does not impose a duty on the victim to retreat before using such force in any place where such victim is lawfully present; and

(2) have in effect throughout the State laws and policies that make it unlawful to establish, organize, operate, or participate in a neighborhood watch program unless such program is registered with—

(A) the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the neighborhood in which the program is located; and

(B) the Department of Justice, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Attorney General.

(b) Period for implementation by States.—

(1) DEADLINE.—Each State shall implement this section before 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2) EXTENSIONS.—The Attorney General may authorize up to two 1-year extensions of the deadline in paragraph (1).

(c) Failure of State To comply.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—For any fiscal year after the end of the period for implementation under subsection (b), a State that fails, as determined by the Attorney General, to substantially implement this section shall not receive 20 percent of the funds that would otherwise be allocated for that fiscal year to the State under subpart 1 of part E of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3750 et seq.).

(2) STATE CONSTITUTIONALITY.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—When evaluating whether a State has substantially implemented this section, the Attorney General shall consider whether the State is unable to substantially implement this section because of a demonstrated inability to implement certain provisions that would place the State in violation of its constitution, as determined by a ruling of the State's highest court.

(B) EFFORTS.—If the circumstances arise under subparagraph (A), then the Attorney General and the State shall make good faith efforts to accomplish substantial implementation of this section and to reconcile any conflicts between this section and the State's constitution. In considering whether compliance with the requirements of this section would likely violate the State's constitution or an interpretation thereof by the State's highest court, the Attorney General shall consult with the chief executive and chief legal officer of the State concerning the State's interpretation of the State's constitution and rulings thereon by the State's highest court.

(C) ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES.—If the State is unable to substantially implement this section because of a limitation imposed by the State's constitution, the Attorney General may determine that the State is in compliance with this Act if the State has implemented, or is in the process of implementing, reasonable alternative procedures or accommodations that are consistent with the purposes of this Act.

(D) FUNDING REDUCTION.—If a State does not comply with subparagraph (C), then the State shall be subject to a funding reduction as specified in paragraph (1).

(3) REALLOCATION.—Amounts not allocated under subpart 1 of part E of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3750 et seq.) to a State for failure to substantially implement this section shall be reallocated under such subpart to States that have not failed to substantially implement this section or may be reallocated to a State from which they were withheld to be used solely for the purpose of implementing this section.

(d) Definition of State.—In this section the term “State” shall have the meaning given such term in section 901(a) of Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3791(a) et seq.).

SEC. 3. Study on “stand your ground” laws.

(a) Authority.—Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall conduct a study of State laws that allow a person to use deadly force when such person is threatened and do not impose a duty to retreat before using such force in any place where such person is lawfully present (commonly known as “stand your ground laws”).

(b) Contents of study.—In conducting the study under subsection (a), the Attorney General shall examine each of the following:

(1) The effect that stand your ground laws have on rates of violent deaths, including determining whether States that have stand your ground laws have higher rates of violent deaths than States that do not have such laws.

(2) Whether women and minorities are targets of the force authorized by stand your ground laws at a higher rate than the general population.

(c) Report.—Not later than 180 days after completing the study conducted under subsection (a), the Attorney General shall report the findings of such study to Congress.