Florida law-abiding gun owners are able to point a weapon in self defense, even fire warning shots without fear of facing 10 years or longer in prison for aggravated assault. The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill for aforementioned self defense action to be legal.
“Self defense is not a crime,” Marion Hammer, the long-time lobbyist for the National Rifle Association and Unified Sportsmen of Florida, told the committee. “It’s a constitutional right.”
Hammer was lobbying the Legislature in 1999, when the state adopted its “10-20-Life” law, providing 10 years in prison for using a gun in a crime, 20 if the gun is fired and life sentences if someone is injured or killed. Some prosecutors have charged gun owners with aggravated assault for pulling guns or pointing them at assailants — with the mandatory minimum sentences applying — but Hammer said that was never the intention of the Legislature in passing the law.
Committee members talked about the e-mails they received pushing them to kill the bill. Senator Mark Kirkeby says the e-mails have been coming for 30 days. “This is not a threat or an attack on our Second Amendment,” he explained.
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