By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)-Florida is considering a bill, HB 89, that would protect citizens who defensively display firearms or who fire warning shots, from being victimized by the law for the act of defending themselves.
The genesis of the law is the fact that most people are able to defend themselves by merely showing the attacker that they are armed. This defuses the situation in the vast majority of cases: people do not want to be shot.
The problem is that a person who defensively displays a firearm or fires a warning shot, may well be prosecuted under current Florida law. It is not uncommon for criminals to accuse people who thwart their crimes of being the aggressor.
In Arizona, this led to the passage of a similar defensive display law. It is better to allow the defensive display of a firearm, to prevent someone from being shot, rather than require that it be kept hidden until it *must* be fired in self defense.
Here is the opening paragraph of the proposed Florida law:
An act relating to defense of life, home, and
3 property; creating s. 776.001, F.S.; providing
4 legislative finding and intent; providing that the
5 defensive display of a weapon or firearm, including
6 the discharge of a firearm for the purpose of a
7 warning shot, does not constitute the use of deadly
8 force; providing immunity from prosecution for persons
9 acting in defense of life, home, and property from
10 violent attack or the threat of violent attack through
11 certain displays of or uses of force; creating s.
12 776.0011, F.S.; providing definitions; creating s.
13 776.033, F.S.; providing for the justifiable defensive
14 display of a firearm or weapon in certain
15 circumstances; amending s. 776.06, F.S.; limiting a
16 provision authorizing use of deadly force by law
17 enforcement or correctional officers; creating s.
18 775.0878, F.S.; providing an exemption from minimum
19 sentence requirements related to use of a weapon or
20 firearm for persons acting in self-defense or defense
21 of others; authorizing a departure from minimum
22 sentence requirements related to use of a weapon or
23 firearm for persons convicted of certain offenses who
24 meet specified requirements; providing an effective
The bill appears to be modeled on the Arizona law. It is commonsense legislation designed to promote safety.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.