Florida's HB 89: The "Warning Shot" Bill

This is a discussion on Florida's HB 89: The "Warning Shot" Bill within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Looks like us Floridians are going to have some leeway when it comes to defending ourselves. This bill has passed our house and senate and ...

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Thread: Florida's HB 89: The "Warning Shot" Bill

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    New Member Array Patterson911's Avatar
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    Florida's HB 89: The "Warning Shot" Bill

    Looks like us Floridians are going to have some leeway when it comes to defending ourselves. This bill has passed our house and senate and is now going up to our governor, Rick Scott, to sign. HB 89, in its current state, will allow people to draw down on someone if they feel their life is threatened.

    I can see how this bill is a double edged sword. On one side, it will allow people to diffuse situations by just showing they have a weapon. On the other side, the bill does say you are allowed to fire a warning shot IF you feel your life or another person's life is in danger. I don't agree with the actual warning shot portion because I can see where innocent bystanders could get hit. However, I really like the fact that Florida won't be able to throw you in prison over pulling your gun on someone and not shooting in a life threatening situation.

    I know there is a very large debate on what mindset one should have when faced with a threat. Some people say you should never pull your weapon unless you also plan to shoot while others say you shouldn't necessarily feel you have to shoot if you pull your weapon. The law here is somewhat gray in Florida.

    For me, I will never fire a warning shot. This bill will only give me the confidence to pull my weapon and show that I have the means, but I am not going to risk an innocent bystanders life. Even then, I will do everything I can to not have to go that route. I really appreciate that Florida is providing its citizens with every means possible to defend themselves without being forced to resort to using deadly force when attempting to deter an attacker. What do you guys think? Does anyone else live in a state where a law like this is already on the books? Were you around when it was implemented? Did you notice an increase in reports from the news stating attackers were being scared off instead of being killed or wounded?

    I was able to find the link to the proposed bill...It's actually not that long: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill...Text/Filed/PDF

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    Ex Member Array Longstreet's Avatar
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    Running here: New florida bill makes warning shot legal 3 21 2014

    FYI - the legislation has nothing to do with firing a warning shot. It was just added to the media coverage for sensationalism.
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    Let's see what Rick Scott does. He seems to be pretty sensable about these issues.
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    New Member Array Patterson911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longstreet View Post
    FYI - the legislation has nothing to do with firing a warning shot. It was just added to the media coverage for sensationalism.
    Longstreet, I read that as well, but check out what the bill actually states. It actually says warning shots are allowed. Unless it has been removed from a newer version I have not yet seen, here is the section where it covers it:

    "An act relating to defense of life, home, and property; creating s. 776.001, F.S.; providing legislative finding and intent; providing that the defensive display of a weapon or firearm, including the discharge of a firearm for the purpose of a warning shot, does not constitute the use of deadly force..."

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    Senior Member Array CommonCents's Avatar
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    i think its like anything else, the devil is in the details and situation. Most laws are constructed a bit vaguely. They'll probably say the warning shot has to be done "safely". Whatever that means, if you injure someone w/ a warning shot you will be responsible obviously. But maybe in certain situations a "safe" warning shot has its place. I think there was a thread where a husband was stabbing his wife and someone fired a warning shot and he stopped.

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    New Member Array Patterson911's Avatar
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    I read it in further detail, and it appears that the warning shot applies ONLY to law enforcement officials (Page 6). I do not see anywhere where it states a normal citizen can fire a warning shot. Am I reading this wrong?

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    Ex Member Array quix's Avatar
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    I have pointed a gun at a man several times. They all froze in place! :-) You'd better NOT fire just because you drew. If you are witnessed firing as the guy throws up his hands in surrender, for instance, woe betide you. As a practical matter, hitting someone with a bullet is going to cost you $50,000 to stay out of prison and not be sued the pants off of, as an average figure. If you CAN avoid it, by showing your gun, you're well advised to do so. Most attacks are not made with a gun, so you often have that fraction of a second of "lee-way" and you're way ahead if you can use it effectively

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    Member Array SgtRick's Avatar
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    Forget warning shots. Save that round for a head or chest shot. Make it count.

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    Senior Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    As a citizen, if I dont feel that firing the pistol is likely to happen immediately upon pulling it, I probably dont need to be pulling it. Thats how I feel about it but what happens in Fl is really none of my business. I dont think that people need to be encouraged to threaten one another with the use of deadly force... I think people just need to lean how to strut like john travolta. Its all good when you can strut like a big dog.
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    Senior Member Array Buckeye63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quix View Post
    I have pointed a gun at a man several times. They all froze in place! :-) You'd better NOT fire just because you drew. If you are witnessed firing as the guy throws up his hands in surrender, for instance, woe betide you. As a practical matter, hitting someone with a bullet is going to cost you $50,000 to stay out of prison and not be sued the pants off of, as an average figure. If you CAN avoid it, by showing your gun, you're well advised to do so. Most attacks are not made with a gun, so you often have that fraction of a second of "lee-way" and you're way ahead if you can use it effectively
    Showing your gun is assault.....you can be arrested..,go to jail ..,face a civil suite , loose your right to carry a firearm.....

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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye63 View Post
    Showing your gun is assault.....you can be arrested..,go to jail ..,face a civil suite , loose your right to carry a firearm.....

    One there are many SD shootings where the defender didnt spend a penny nor had his firearm confiscated. Every state isnt like another. It can happen of course but its not automatic that you spend thousands of dollars for defending yourself. Criminally or in civil court depending on what state your in and if its a clean cut case of SD.

    Two. Again, showing your gun ie being forced to draw it, the BG/s stop, run surrender, break into fervent prayer, whatever, and not shooting because the threat stood down is NOT assault. Its called holding your fire because the threat no longer exists.

    I cant follow where this mentality comes from unless its bad CCW instructors or good ones being misunderstood, that drawing means you HAVE to shoot regardless.

    Im glad this law is getting passed but I cant imagine LE anyplace favoring a citizen shooting a BG that no longer posed a threat as opposed to being forced to draw with intent to fire then holding fire because the situation changed.

    As for warning shots, everyplace isnt paved, there arent always bystanders, and though Im not wild about warning shots except to scare off a stray mutt, there is likely a situation where a warning shot would be preferable.

    Thinking maybe three or four thugs beating some innocent to death and firing one into the ground to get their attention. Maybe.
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