Florida’s proposed “warning shot” bill is prompting confusion even before it becomes law, reports the Miami Herald. The 26-page bill, awaiting action by Gov. Rick Scott, seems to shrink, not expand, the protections of Florida's infamous “stand your ground” law. While current law justifies deadly force in a home or vehicle if a person “reasonably” believes it's needed to prevent death or bodily harm, the bill adds the word “imminent” so that the threat would need to be looming for someone to legally use deadly force.
The new modifier raises the bar on “stand your ground” in a way that's not easily measured, adding confusion to those using, enforcing and interpreting it, said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “The governor shouldn't sign this because it's not legislation that the average person or cop on the street can understand,” Gualtieri said. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City, he acknowledged he doesn't exactly know what his legislation does. “You can show a dozen lawyers this bill and they'll give you a dozen interpretations,” he said. “What counts is the judge.” A spokesman for Scott said the governor “supports the Second Amendment. He will review this legislation when it reaches his desk.”