New Florida law of Self Defence March 2005
In Florida, a person now has "the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadlyforce, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so, to
prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another. If you have a
reasonable belief that you are in danger of great harm or death, or someone else is in danger, and you get to protect yourself with deadly force. A basic human right is the right of self defense.
Friday, March 25, 2005
A bill permitting the use of deadly force during a home invasion or when an individual considers themselves threatened unanimously passed the Florida Senate on Wednesday.
The measure (SB 436) would eliminate criminal penalties for an individual who uses deadly force as self-protection in his home or vehicle and other unspecified circumstances.
The Senate passed the gun measure, supported by the National Rifle Association, on a 38-0 vote just moments after it defeated a proposal that might have cleared the way for Terri Schiavo's feeding tube to be reinserted.
The open-ended language on the bill sponsored by Sen. Durell Peaden Jr. concerned some lawmakers.
"...Provides that a person may use force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker in a dwelling, residence, or vehicle under specified circumstances.
Creates a presumption that a reasonable fear of death or bodily injury exists under certain circumstances.
Creates a presumption that a person acts with the intent to use force or violence under specified circumstances.
Provides that a person is justified in using deadly force.
Declares that a person is not under a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
Provides that a person is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for using deadly force.
Authorizes a law enforcement agency to investigate the use of deadly force but prohibits the agency from arresting the person unless the agency determines that probable cause exists showing that the force that was used was unlawful..."
"Under the wording of this bill, somebody could go onto any of the streets and if they think somebody is walking toward them in a threatening fashion, they can pull out a gun and begin blasting away," said Sen. Steven Geller, D-Hallandale Beach, who sought unsuccessfully to amend the bill on Tuesday.
"We're heading towards a Wild West mentality," Geller said. "I am concerned that you could literally have two guys standing on the street, both of them ready, the guns at their side, and then say 'Well the other guy threatened me so I pulled a gun and shot him in self defense.'"
Peaden, R-Crestview, scoffed at the characterization. "You have to be within the confines of the dwelling as described in
this bill," Peaden said during Wednesday's floor debate. "You just can't shoot anybody on the street and drag 'em in."
Geller said he voted for the bill for political reasons. "We'd be seen as Democrats soft on crime," he said.
A similar proposal (HB 249) was approved on an 8-2 vote Wednesday by the House Justice Council.
Here's the link for more scrutiny.