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Old 04-06-2005, 09:00 PM   #1
Ken Harbart
Florida's new self defense law

It goes into effect 1 Oct, pending Jeb's signature.

SB 436 has passed both the House and Senate, and now heads to Jeb's desk. I'm pretty happy that this has passed and that the requirement to tuck one's tail between one's legs and run is being removed from FL law.

Those who opposed this bill have come up with various lies, such as that it will allow gang members to off each other in the streets with no legal consequences or that it would promote drunken gunfights in bars. Neither argument holds any water, neither example would fall under this legislation.

Here's the Senate's summary of the bill that's headed to Jeb...
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. Directs the court to award attorney's
fees, court costs, loss of income, and other expenses
under specified circumstances. Revises the circumstances
that justify the use of force by an aggressor.