Thousands of people are taking to social media sites, calling on others to join a "Boycott Florida" movement until the state repeals the "Stand your Ground" law.
As of late Wednesday, more than 2,700 Facebook users had "liked" two separate "Boycott Florida" pages, while another 9,200 signed an online petition on MoveOn.org.
"That 'Stand your Ground; law really is causing some economic problems for us," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a Democrat, who doesn't like the law. "When it starts to hurt your pocket book and it starts to mean jobs in the tourism industry and boycotts that give us a black eye, yeah, I'm concerned."
Earlier in the week, Attorney General Eric Holder said "Stand your Ground" laws, which allow a person who believes they are in danger to use deadly force, should be reassessed, citing concern over the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted over the weekend of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the 17-year-old's death last year in Sanford. Holder said the Justice Department has an open investigation into the case.
Dip Biswas, a USF marketing professor, said boycotts like the one proposed for Florida, don't often have lasting impacts.
"It's tough to predict the future, but in the short-run it might have some impact. But in the long run, it won't make a very big impact," he predicted.
Biswas said those who are often negatively impacted the most by boycotts are business and their employees, many of whom can least afford it.
"This boycott will end up hurting a lot of people who they are trying to empathize with, like a lot of African Americans, a lot of minorities who are heavily employed in the tourism industry," Biswas said.
The USF professor added he would expect many supporters of "Stand your Ground" to travel to the state in defiance of the movement, offsetting any loss in revenue.
Some experts, meanwhile, expressed doubt any kind of large-scale boycott will even happen.
"I find it very unlikely that the majority of consumers are going to blame the state of Florida," said Karen Post, a Tampa Bay area branding expert. "The state of Florida tourism and all the businesses here need to focus on what they do well and I think time will take care of things."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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