SB-448 introduced by Florida State Senator Greg Evers (R-FL District 2) is on the agenda for the Senate Criminal Justice Committee meeting on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:00 a.m EST. SB-448 is a bill to stop abusive prosecutors from using 10-20-LIFE to prosecute people who, in self-defense, threaten to use deadly force against an attacker as a means to stop an attack.
Some anti-gun, anti-self-defense prosecutors have been abusing the 10-20-LIFE law to prosecute average citizens who displayed a weapon or gun in self-defense to make an attacker back off. Average citizens who never would have been in the system if they had not been attacked and in fear for their own safety, are being persecuted and prosecuted for defending themselves.
Because citizens took responsibility for their own safety, some prosecutors treat them like criminals and make them victims of a judicial system.
10-20-Life was passed to stop prosecutors and judges from slapping gun-wielding criminals on the wrist so they could quickly clear cases. The 10-20-Life law was never intended to be used against citizens who, in an act of self-defense, threatened the use of force to stop an attacker, including the unwise use of a warning shot. Yet, that’s what some prosecutors are doing. They are willfully and knowingly violating the intent of the law. To learn more about 10-20-LIFE click here.
Marion P. Hammer in a South Florida Sun-Sentinel oped stated, “Nothing in SB-448 and HB-89, the House Companion, allows warning shots nor do they promote or encourage warning shots. Warning shots are not safe. Nonetheless, when people are in fear for their lives or the lives of loved ones, they might fire a warning shot rather than shoot someone. People make mistakes and do irrational things when in fear of death or injury. That doesn’t mean they should go to prison for 20 years when there was no injury or harm done. Warning shots are an unsafe result of the glorification of such conduct in movies and on TV. No one is recommending warning shots.”
“Nonetheless, a father should not be prosecuted under 10-20-Life for firing a warning shot. No harm was done yet a father was sent to prison for 20 years for firing a warning shot to stop an attacker from harming his daughter,” writes Hammer.
We agree, citizens should not be prosecuted under 10-20-LIFE for firing a warning shot.
Supporters of SB-448 are asking those interested to send a “I Support SB-448 Threat of Force” email to the Senate Justice Committee members. Here are the email addresses of the Committee members: