| Read Time: 3 minutes | Gun Laws
Warning Shots and Other Florida Gun Laws and Defenses

Explore essential aspects of Florida’s gun laws, including the “Warning Shot” bill and “Stand Your Ground” law, and their impact on gun owners’ rights and responsibilities.

Key Takeaways

  • “Warning Shot” Bill (2014): Signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, it allows the defensive display or discharge of a firearm without it being considered deadly force, providing immunity under certain circumstances.
  • “Stand Your Ground” Law: Justifies the use of deadly force to prevent imminent harm or the commission of a forcible felony, without the obligation to retreat.
  • 10-20-Life Law: Imposes mandatory minimum sentences for using a firearm during the commission of a forcible felony, but exceptions exist under the “Warning Shot” bill.
  • Legal Support: Moses and Rooth offer experienced legal advice and defense for gun owners facing charges or seeking clarity on Florida’s gun laws.
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2022-08-20
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2022-07-11

Does Florida’s “Warning Shot” bill allow the use of warning shots without legal penalties?

Yes, Florida’s “Warning Shot” bill, enacted in 2014, permits the defensive display or discharge of a firearm as a warning shot under specific conditions without it being considered the use of deadly force. This law provides immunity from prosecution for individuals acting in defense of life, home, and property from violent attack or the threat of violent attack.

Understanding Florida’s Gun Laws: Your Rights and Legal Risks Explained

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives the right to bear arms. Florida has many laws in place in order to protect this right, however, gun owners must be aware of what activities may or may not put them in legal trouble. Illegal gun possession, unlawful use of a firearm, or other gun charges are serious criminal offenses. If you have questions about the owning and use of a firearm or have been arrested on a gun charge, the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Moses and Rooth can answer your questions or craft a defense on your behalf.

Warning Shots

In 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed what is known as the “Warning Shot” bill into law. The warning shot bill allows for the defensive display of a weapon or firearm, including the discharge of a firearm for the purpose of a warning shot, without constituting as the use of deadly force. The law provides 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. The warning shot bill essentially strengthens Florida’s self-defense statute or “Stand Your Ground” law.

Stand Your Ground

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law received a lot of attention after the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin. The use of deadly force under the stand your ground law is covered under Florida Statute Chapter 776, where a person is justified in using deadly force:

  • If the person believes the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another;
  • To prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; and
  • Against a person unlawfully and forcibly entering or entered a dwelling, residence, or vehicle or while trying to remove a person against their will from a dwelling, residence, or vehicle and where the person using deadly force believed or had reason to believe an unlawful and forcible entry was being made or an unlawful or forcible act was occurring.

Under Chapter 776, a person is allowed to use force, but not deadly force, if said person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend themselves or another against the imminent use of unlawful force. The warning shot bill now allows for a person to display a weapon or firearm or to fire a warning shot without constituting as the use of deadly force.

10-20-Life

Florida has a mandatory minimum sentencing law for the use of firearms during the commission of a forcible felony. Under Florida Statute 775.087, during the commission of a forcible felony there is a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence for producing a firearm, a mandatory 20 year minimum sentence for firing a firearm, and 25 years to life for shooting someone. The warning shot law prohibits the court from making such mandatory sentencing if the court finds the defendant acted within their rights under the warning shot bill.

An unlawful use or possession of a gun charge can hold serious penalties. If you have been arrested or simply have questions about your rights as a gun owner, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Moses and Rooth for legal advice on Florida gun laws and options for your defense.

Author Photo

Andrew Moses

Andrew has been practicing criminal law his entire career. After graduating from law school he began working as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting cases in Orange and Osceola Counties. During his time as an Assistant State Attorney, Andrew handled all types of cases ranging from misdemeanors to such serious felonies as drug trafficking and armed robbery. His experience as a prosecutor helped him gain perspective of the criminal justice system and how the government established its cases.

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