An architect of Florida’s 2005 “stand your ground” law says a bill passed by lawmakers this session on warning shots is too confusing and could prevent people in their homes or vehicles from legally defending themselves, reports the Tampa Bay Times. “Unfortunately, in attempting to improve this excellent law, [the new bill] inadvertently creates ambiguities and potentially reduces important protections for Florida’s citizens,” said Sen. David Simmons.
Simmons said the new legislation may require that, in order to use deadly force, those in their homes must first be attacked, and that they must conclude that the threat of death or bodily harm is “imminent.” Currently, people are justified in using deadly force in their homes if they believe it’s necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm. Although lawmakers passed the bill April 3, it has yet to reach Gov. Rick Scott’s desk. Much of the bill’s appeal was because it aimed to prevent cases like that of Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville woman who faces up to 60 years in prison after firing a shot to ward off her estranged husband.