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Warning shots legal in Fla

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Replies

  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,495 Senior Member
    Bream,
    I make no comment on that case in particular. I am speaking about the law itself. If she closed her eyes and shot, with her two kids in the house, then she shouldn't even own a gun.
    I gathered that. I was trying to point out that she did a pretty poor job of being safe, it seems.

    Her case seems to be an example of a bad case being used to justify a law. Sometimes bad cases make bad laws...
    Overkill is underrated.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    I am confused by some of the responses about slippery slopes.

    Prosecutor: Did you fire a warning shot?
    You: Nope!
    Prosecutor: Why didn't you? Why wouldn't you try to scare him off instead of shooting him?

    (See where this is going?)
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Now everyone can run out on the balcony and fire both barrels in the air.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Prosecutor: Did you fire a warning shot?
    You: Nope!
    Prosecutor: Why didn't you? Why wouldn't you try to scare him off instead of shooting him?

    (See where this is going?)

    Basic misunderstanding of Florida's stand your ground law. A prosecutor wouldn't ask you why you didn't fire a warning shot when you're not required to do so. It would be a legal paradox. If there is a question it would be in if you had a just reason to shoot someone, and it would first have to get through a grand jury.

    There are some states that don't have this law and are required to retreat in the face of a threat. FL isn't one of them.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Prosecutor: Did you fire a warning shot?
    Defense attorney: Objection my client is not required to fire a warning shot
    Judge: Sustained. Next question prosecutor
    FIFY
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    FIFY

    This may involve a little "outside the box" thinking My point is this....I suspect that this may (over time) morph from

    "You CAN fire warning shots" to
    "You SHOULD fire warning shots" to
    "You MUST fire warning shots" to
    "You're hosed if you DON'T fire warning shots"...

    if enough folks engage in the practice of utilizing "warning shots" how long will it be before a lawyer uses the concept as an "accepted practice" and (with the right combination of not-so-2A friendly judge/prosecutor/jury) successfully prosecute someone for NOT firing a warning shot....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    In the Alexander case, she supposedly closed her eyes when firing, and the bullet hit the wall then ricocheted into the ceiling. So she had no clue at all where the bullet was going...

    Isn't that what you're supposed to do? Close your eyes and fire? Heck, that's how I shoot all the time!
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    A warning shot violates one of the basic firearm safety rules IMHO. Know your target and what is beyond.

    That's it in a nutshell. Truth spoken by TrueTone.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Prosecutor: Did you fire a warning shot?
    Defense attorney: Objection my client is not required to fire a warning shot
    Judge: Sustained. Next question prosecutor

    FIFY

    Problems with your somewhat quick fix are these:
    1- Despite being told to disregard, juries remember anyway and often use disallowed statements to make decisions.
    2- As has been said here by others, problem is that the "right" to fire a warning shot may morph into the "requirement" to fire that shot.

    Frankly I'm a bit surprised that this case occurred in Florida, which actually has some of the more sensible firearm usage laws. Except for the stupid law that should not have been passed in the first place, should have been either repealed or modified, and that this new "warning shots okay" law is a poor bandaid on the problem.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    Well, there is a law in most states that prohibits firing a gun in certain locations, like a drugstore, for example. This law apparently takes away the legal prohibitions of firing in a situation where it would otherwise be illegal. Say if a guy tries to rob a store with a hammer. The store owner fires into the ceiling, the robber gets captured, the defense lawyer tries to put pressure on the guy who shot the pistol to get him to reduce the charges. In order to invoke the stand your ground law, you must feel actually threatened. And some are not psychologically able to kill another human being without an other option.

    You guys are paranoid. It increases rights, not subtracts them. Stand your ground law is not a mandate.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    I don't think we're paranoid at all.

    First, there should be NO blanket restrictions on firing a weapon except for specific facts about the particular incident. The original Florida law which the new "warning shot" law is trying to fix is a flawed law in the first place, which is why I termed the new law a bandaid approach rather than fixing the original problem by repealing the first law.

    Second, many of us have witnessed cases where overzealous prosecutors in "blue-zone" areas have tried to take a modestly reasonable law and twist it for their own purpose, and to suspect this might occur in the new "warning shot" law is not paranoid, instead just a reasoned concern about a slippery slope.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Second, many of us have witnessed cases where overzealous prosecutors in "blue-zone" areas have tried to take a modestly reasonable law and twist it for their own purpose, and to suspect this might occur in the new "warning shot" law is not paranoid, instead just a reasoned concern about a slippery slope.

    Exactly....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    Maybe there should be no restrictions, but there are. Learn to live with that fact.

    Over-zealous prosecutors? Maybe, but I don't know any, and I've known quite a lot. I think your tinfoil hat needs to be rewired.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    I don't think most people know in reality whether they can or not. They think they can, and that's important to a feeling of security. What else should they use if not a firearm? As the NRA says, "Sometimes even the appearance of a firearm...".

    During WW II, according to post-war studies, an astonishingly low number of men actually aimed their firearms because of the societal proscriptions on taking a life. It changed the way subsequent firearms training was conducted.

    And I doubt the average pharmacist of citizen has the training of those in the military. Oh, we all think we know what we'd do, and most of us know the "right" thing to do, but how is one to really know unless he's surprised by an armed robber or mugger? Or unless he's been in a firefight where he's had to make some instinctive choices.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    Maybe, but I think mandated firearms training, as is required in some states for a CCW, just puts government into another aspect of our lives.

    Then, there is the possibility that the average gang-banger has probably been in more shooting situations than most citizens. Or most cops, for that matter.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Over-zealous prosecutors? Maybe, but I don't know any, and I've known quite a lot. I think your tinfoil hat needs to be rewired.

    Er, this whole thread is about one overzealous prosecutor who sought felony charges against this woman who, yes, didn't act necessarily the exact best way, but yeah, I'd say overzealous.

    And don't forget about the foil hats: Shiny side OUT!
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    Well, absent any witnesses, it's a "he said, she said," which isn't generally enough to prosecute a domestic violence case. So there must have been witnesses. The conviction was overturned, bullet holes would be evidence. We don't know her or his priors, but are told he was an abusive husband. Apparently this was found to be the facts on appeal.

    A 20-year stretch is a looong one for a first conviction unless there are aggravating circumstances. I'd like to hear the evidence. I can't say if I were a cop, not knowing her history, that I wouldn't have busted her, too...even when the act of firing is legal, that's not to say it's justified. A jury must decide that, or a judge or whoever. Generally, the way you make arrest decisions on domestic violence, it's who's injured is who is the victim. It's asking a bit much from me to accept the fact that she's the victim with holes in the wall, not knowing her/his history. Multiple counts may indicate others were in the room, or there may have been a charge for each round she fired.

    The article says it extends the stand your ground law, nothing was said about this law limiting it. Re-read the article, Sam. Channel your hard-boiled detective.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    I fired a "warning shot".......but I'm a piss poor shot......so instead of of shooting past his head.............I centered it with my 20 Gauge..............sorry but I tried...............Ken
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    Well I ain't them. And don't you stand for that sort of thing. If someone ever tries to kill you try to kill them right back. - ............Mal
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,111 Senior Member
    Hmmmmm...............Does a warning shot from a suppressed/silenced firearm count.................?

    Here is another question.

    If it becomes mandatory to fire warning shots, I wonder how many people will 'prefire' warning shot holes in the walls and ceiling of their houses so that when the police arrive and find a dead BG, the owner can point to the holes and say " I complied with the law.......those holes are proof"

    .......and if a BG enters your house, whats to stop you firing the first rounds into centermass ............then poking one into a wall as he drops ( it might help to yell "That's a warning shot, Don't come any closer" when you fire the first shot)
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Hmmmmm...............Does a warning shot from a suppressed/silenced firearm count.................?

    Here is another question.

    If it becomes mandatory to fire warning shots, I wonder how many people will 'prefire' warning shot holes in the walls and ceiling of their houses so that when the police arrive and find a dead BG, the owner can point to the holes and say " I complied with the law.......those holes are proof"

    .......and if a BG enters your house, whats to stop you firing the first rounds into centermass ............then poking one into a wall as he drops ( it might help to yell "That's a warning shot, Don't come any closer" when you fire the first shot)

    Only single men will be able to do this. Most single men are young and don't own much of anything. Therefore not worth trying to steal from. So the the single guy that shoots holes in his house "just in case" only wasted his deposit.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Channel your hard-boiled detective.

    What a strange comment. Oh, well.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,495 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Well, absent any witnesses, it's a "he said, she said," which isn't generally enough to prosecute a domestic violence case. So there must have been witnesses. The conviction was overturned, bullet holes would be evidence. We don't know her or his priors, but are told he was an abusive husband. Apparently this was found to be the facts on appeal.

    A 20-year stretch is a looong one for a first conviction unless there are aggravating circumstances. I'd like to hear the evidence. I can't say if I were a cop, not knowing her history, that I wouldn't have busted her, too...even when the act of firing is legal, that's not to say it's justified. A jury must decide that, or a judge or whoever. Generally, the way you make arrest decisions on domestic violence, it's who's injured is who is the victim. It's asking a bit much from me to accept the fact that she's the victim with holes in the wall, not knowing her/his history. Multiple counts may indicate others were in the room, or there may have been a charge for each round she fired.

    The article says it extends the stand your ground law, nothing was said about this law limiting it. Re-read the article, Sam. Channel your hard-boiled detective.
    Gene, regarding the 20-year sentence, it's a minimum sentence imposed by law because a gun was fired. The judge had no choice and said so when making the sentence.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    Yeah, I read the case. It's not a simple case, and worthy of the read. http://mediatrackers.org/florida/2013/07/16/no-marissa-alexanders-conviction-was-not-a-reverse-trayvon-martin-case-in-florida

    Presenting a firearm does not mandate firing a firearm. And firing a firearm doesn't mean you have to disable someone. As established by FL law. It's a good law resulting from a bad example.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,611 Senior Member
    The problem I see with this-aside from my concern that 'allowing' warning shots will morph into requiring warning shots-is that this throws one more variable into the mix for somebody who, at the time, may very well be overloaded with variables. Adding a "do I or don't I" question regarding the amount of time available in order for a warning shot to be viable-IOW, "Do I have enough time to fire the W.S., re-aim and get back on target to cover the bad guy?" seems to be asking too much of people, especially considering the fact that the vast majority folks will not be trained to think in such a fashion.

    Frankly, thugs, muggers and rapists got all the warning they should EVER require when Florida-and, eventually, all the rest of the states-passed their CCW law. Further warning is redundant...and repetitive, too.

    This isn't a good law resulting from a bad example, this is a bad law resulting from legislative stupidity. Why should firing a warning shot have ever been considered illegal, as long as the shooter could justify it? If the shooter honestly felt a W.S. was called for and was also a valid choice, well, that should be their call to make. At the same time, if the shooter feels a W.S. is called for, may be the weapon should stay in the holster. If the shooter felt threatened enough to pull a gun in the first place, maybe a W.S. is a silly idea and shouldn't be considered.

    There are no half-deadly measures, and guns shouldn't be used to warn people.
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    You've adopted the position that presenting a firearm requires firing a firearm. This is a dangerous attitude. The NRA promoted the law allowing warning shots along with pro-gun groups. Since FL already has a Stand Your Ground law, there's no way that a law allowing warning shots CAN morph into a requirement.

    In this case, had the woman killed her ex, she would have been charged (and probably convicted) of murder, since she was convicted of firing a gun in the commission of a crime.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Presenting a firearm does not mandate firing a firearm. And firing a firearm doesn't mean you have to disable someone. As established by FL law. It's a good law resulting from a bad example.

    Barring any other changes, yes, the law does alleviate the mandatory sentence thing. So at first effect, it is a good law. But better would have been to alter the previous law in the first place, eliminating the mandatory penalty and making it so rigid.

    I'm sure that Florida already has other laws that generally cover "reckless or dangerous behavior" sort of actions, and can be easily applied to those who shoot a firearm stupidly, and that might be a misdemeanor or felony, depending. But to have a separate law which specifically mandates sentences of 20 years for discharging a firearm? That's the initial problem and should be corrected by repealing or modifying that law, not necessarily passing a new law to patch an existing one's flaws.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    coolgunguy wrote: »
    The problem I see with this etc etc

    cool, this is an excellent commentary and pretty much describes the situation as I see it. Good post!
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    When discharging a firearm in the commission of a felony it draws the sentence. Discourages robbers from shooting, or imposes a sentence if one does. If you're being threatened, you can now fire a gun without killing someone, which is what happened in the FL case.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,495 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    If you're being threatened, you can now fire a gun without killing someone, which is what happened in the FL case.
    I think it actually says now you can fire a gun without intending to hit someone.
    Overkill is underrated.
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