Florida’s House Bill 89 of 2014 is now law, after Governor Rick Scott signed it today.
The Bill legalized the threat of force, when actual use of force would be allowed as self-defense.
The reason this Bill was raised, known as the “warning shot law,” is that a woman, Marissa Alexander, was convicted with a mandatory minimum 20 year sentence for firing a warning shot into a wall, after her husband threatened her.
Marissa Alexander claimed self-defense, but although nobody was injured, she did fire the weapon and was convicted.
This Bill aims to prevent that happening in the future.
For details, see CS/CS/HB 89 – Threatened Use of Force
The bill was initially filed September 26th, 2013 and made its way through the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, and to the Judiciary Committee over the next three months.