Friday, July 11, 2014

Florida's Reform of Gun Law Already Working

An armed citizen stopped a deadly knife attack with a warning shot.  Under the new law, that went into effect a few days ago, he can be certain that he will not be charged.

Specifically, the new bill is the "Threatened Use of Force" bill, which was passed by legislators after scrutiny of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.   That scrutiny  revealed that prosecutors were using the mandatory sentencing law to pressure people who believed they had acted in self defense, to plead out instead of going to trial.  A wide variety of groups, from the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, the Public Defenders Association, and the NRA had come together to support the bill.   Although the old media were against the bill, it was passed and Governor Scott signed it into law.   The law mostly amends existing law.
Warning shots are generally a bad policy; that is what I have  always taught in concealed carry courses, and I believe it to be true.   It is also true that all policies have exceptions.   In this case, from the

A bystander who witnessed one man stabbing another in Lake Worth fired a warning shot and then held the two at gunpoint until deputies arrived, according to an arrest report.

Had the man not intervened, other witnesses said, the stabbing victim likely would've been killed, a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrest report said.
 The Florida bill is similar to, but goes beyond the provisions of the Arizona "Defensive Display" law.    That law was created because criminals were using the criminal justice system to harass people who were defending themselves without firing a shot.

It was reported that this shot was fired into the air.   While it is true that bullets fired into the air must come down, it is also true that most of them never do any noticeable damage.   In this case, if the shooter angled his shot a bit to the East, it is almost certain that the bullet would come down in the Atlantic, having hit nothing but saltwater.

 ©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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