Florida state legislators are a step closer to expanding their Stand Your Ground law to include the ability to legally fire a warning shot. The expansion being considered “would grant the same protections already in place under Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law to people who only threaten to use force.”
According to Fox News, a state Senate committee “voted in favor of the bill (SB 488) on [January 8] and a house committee has… voted in favor of similar legislation (HB 89),” as well.
If the expansion takes place, law-abiding citizens who fire a warning shot “would be immune from Florida’s ’10-20-Life’ law, which requires anyone who shows a gun while committing certain felonies…be sentenced to 10 years in prison.” If someone is wounded, the “10-20-Life” law requires a sentence of 25 years to life.
The push to expand the “Stand Your Ground” law is partially due to the plight of Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot during an argument with her estranged husband.
Her sentence was “thrown out by an appeals court,” and a new trial scheduled for this year.
In pressing for the expansion to include warning shots, state Senator Greg Evers (R-Baker) said the legislature is not going to put up with law-abiding Floridians being punished if they “brandish weapons, [and] even fire warning shots, to ward off would-be assailants.”
According to The Florida Current, Evers said: “A person with a firearm is a citizen. A person without a firearm is a victim.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.