A new bill proposed by legislators in Florida would make it legal to brandish under certain circumstances, as well as fire warning shots to stop a crime. We’re torn as to the safety of the latter law to bystanders.
The language of the proposed Florida law states:
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; providing immunity from prosecution for persons acting in defense of life, home, and property from violent attack or the threat of violent attack through certain displays of or uses of force; creating s.76.0011, F.S.; providing definitions; creating s.776.033, F.S.; providing for the justifiable defensive display of a firearm or weapon in certain circumstances; amending s. 776.06, F.S.; limiting a provision authorizing use of deadly force by law enforcement or correctional officers; creating s.775.0878, F.S.; providing an exemption from minimum sentence requirements related to use of a weapon or firearm for persons acting in self-defense or defense of others; authorizing a departure from minimum sentence requirements related to use of a weapon or firearm for persons convicted of certain offenses who meet specified requirements; providing an effective date.
This is an attempt to legislate away the laws of physics.
Discharging a bullet is now and will always be a “use of deadly force.” A small dense projectile fired on a ballistic trajectory will continue in motion until it impacts violently with something significant enough to absorb its energy, whether that “something” is the backstop on a range, the wall of a house, or the body of another living thing. Because of the dangers of firing bullets in suburban or urban environments where other people tend to occupy space (silly them), we have required that people not discharge a weapon unless their lives are in immediate danger.
Bullets fired into the air come back down. The force at which they drop can be lethal and it is never predictable as to where they’ll eventually land. Moreover, if someone were to fire a warning shot while in their home or apartment, you can never be 100% sure what’s on the other side of the wall you just shot through, or what’s above you (especially if you’re in an apartment with another apartment above you). Common sense obviously should come into play when dealing with firearms, but this may open up quite a few dangerous situations for people who aren’t familiar with The 4 Rules of Gun Safety.
As for making brandishing under certain circumstances legal, we can certainly stand behind this in certain circumstances. We could talk about this for days but believe that the bottom line is this: If you’re going to carry a firearm, you should be training defensively on a regular basis and be very familiar and comfortable with your carry firearm.
What do you think about these proposed laws? Leave your comments in the Facebook Comments section below to start the debate.