Florida House Passes Reform of Stand Your Ground

By Dean Weingarten

Concealed Carry Jumps Among Florida Women
Concealed Carry Jumps Among Florida Women
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- HB 89, a reform of the “Stand Your Ground” law, passed the Florida House on 20 March with a vote of 93-24.  The law extends the same immunity given to people who actually shoot someone in self defense to those who only threaten force or fire warning shots in self defense.

The bill was given impetus by the Marissa Alexander case where the defendant claimed to have fired a warning shot, but was sentenced to 20 years in prison under Florida's mandatory sentencing laws.

The bill has brought together a coalition of diverse supporters, including the  Florida Public Defender Association and the NRA.

 “We see, routinely, clients that we believe shouldn’t be prosecuted because they did act in lawful self-defense,” said Stacy Scott, the Gainesville-based public defender for the 8th Judicial Circuit. “We’re fighting those cases in court every day.”

The reform bill also provides for the expungement of records in self defense cases.  From bradenton.com, Representative Matt Gaetz:

“The point is to make sure that someone who appropriately uses the ‘stand your ground’ defense doesn’t have their life ruined by the use of that defense,” Gaetz said.

This site shows the recorded vote of 93 to 24.  The bill passed with strong bipartisan support.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

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.

4 thoughts on “Florida House Passes Reform of Stand Your Ground

  1. Sanity in the South , thank you Florida for demonstrating commonsense law in a nation almost devoid of such common sense .

  2. That’s just silly, mic. A person would continue to be responsible for any harm done, whether they fire a “warning shot” or simply miss the target. If they hit an innocent person, nothing in this law is going to excuse that.

    In the meantime, I don’t know of many responsible gun owners who think a “warning shot” is either wise or necessary. People continue to do that, however, for whatever reason, and should not automatically be charged with a crime for it if nobody is harmed.

    How often have you been faced with the split second decision to shoot a human being, or attempt to discourage them from attacking you? I’ve been there, and now am a certified instructor. I don’t KNOW what might be necessary or best in such a situation another time, but I’m very glad I didn’t kill my attacker last time. http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?page_id=846

    Each person is responsible for their own choices and actions. No “law” can replace either common sense or adequate training and experience.

    1. Spot-on MamaLiberty. We need a way to “up-vote” good answers like this one.
      In the case mentioned, the woman ordered her abuser out of her house, but he advanced, and she shot a round into the ceiling to let him know she was serious, and would not allow him to lay hands on her again. As I recall, he was the father of her children, and they were present. She didn’t want to kill, or even wound him, if she didn’t absolutely have to. Had she actually shot him, she would have been justified under Florida’s SYG law. Since she didn’t shoot him, she went to prison – and the abuser probably got custody of the kids.
      This is a point on which I diverge from the herd. I believe warning shots are a very reasonable and prudent option in certain, limited circumstances, but I understand that you can’t train people to fire warning shots. There are just too many variables, and it is one of those decisions that has to be made in the moment. Training for that option also feeds the idiotic, Monday morning quarterbacks who always whine that “You didn’t have to kill him. Why didn’t you just fire a warning shot or shoot him in the leg?”
      It’s definitely a tricky subject, but whether you think warning shots should never be fired or not, sending someone to prison for deterring an attack, is simply reprehensible.
      The other interesting aspect of this story is that the woman involved is an African American, and the NRA has been actively working on her behalf. That doesn’t play well with the whole “NRA is the new KKK” talking points though.

  3. Warning shots are a bad idea. This change is going to case big trouble. Does it protect you from being charged for discharge of a firearm with in a city or town? What about damages to people or property from the bullet? What is an accepted place to aim the “warning shot”?

    Another knee jerk reaction thats going to cause major problems.

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