Warning shots legal in Fla

NNNN Senior MemberPosts: 23,987 Senior Member
A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
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  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Ned, it may be ignorant and that lady saved her abusive husbands life by firing a WS, I don't wanna see it mandatory before you use deadly force or any kind of requirement. Problem is will most folks be able to make a split second decision or get themselves killed by firing a WS?

    In some circumstances I can absolutely see where it might be a good option, others I can see a disaster.

    Police used to do it all the time years ago when time and circumstances permitted. Like a fleeing suspect they would have been legally able to shoot, but held back and the suspect stopped at the sound/sight of a WS.

    For example, a few teenagers stealing gas from your car out in your driveway and IF you lived in a state where it would be legal to shoot them, would you, I wouldn't unless my life or family was in imminent danger. However, a shot into the grass may very well cause them to halt and desist/flee.

    What about that guy in TX who killed two for breaking into his neighbors house as they were leaving? It was legal and he faced no charges. Would any of you killed them or stood back and called 911 and let the cops deal with it, even if they were getting away????

    Anyone who actually broke in to my house will be greeted with the utmost prejudice.


    This will be an interesting discussion. :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:

    The forum has been in a lull here recently and we need a spirited debate and hopefully nobody will get their panties in a knot because you/I or the law disagrees with their point of view.:tooth: :hug::hug:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,987 Senior Member
    We had a discussion not too long ago, most said it was not the thing to do; but, Fla now has to deal with the issue.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    We had a discussion not too long ago, most said it was not the thing to do; but, Fla now has to deal with the issue.

    Sure might complicate things.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,190 Senior Member
    Firing a warning shot is dependent on a lot of things; location, adjacent houses, hard vs. soft surface, and nature of the threat.
    Location: What's cool on an isolated farm is really going to present problems in a populated area. Putting a round in soft dirt is sorta O.K., but NOT O.K. on a paved surface.
    Adjacent houses, buildings, vehicles: You shot it, you bought it, especially if the bullet hits an innocent bystander.
    Nature of the threat: Unarmed teens acting like buttheads or a meth head cranked up to the max with a weapon? Warning shot for the former, and lethal aimed force at the latter? Still have some variables to deal with, as in every situation will be unique.

    And bullets are unpredictable as to how they behave when they hit different surfaces at varying angles. A .50 BMG bullet can ricochet when fired at a shallow angle into a gnarly tuft of fescue; been there and seen that. Wet sand will cause a ricochet under the right conditions; FL has a lot of sandy soil. And an unseen rock just under the surface will do the same. Shooting into a tree can have the same effect if the shot hits way off center of the trunk, especially if the wood is hard.

    My take on it is than unless you have a known solid backstop for that warning shot bullet, then it is stupid to fire the warning shot.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,246 Senior Member
    Just hope it doesn't turn into having to use warning shots.
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Firing a warning shot is dependent on a lot of things; location, adjacent houses, hard vs. soft surface, and nature of the threat.
    Location: What's cool on an isolated farm is really going to present problems in a populated area. Putting a round in soft dirt is sorta O.K., but NOT O.K. on a paved surface.
    Adjacent houses, buildings, vehicles: You shot it, you bought it, especially if the bullet hits an innocent bystander.
    etc etc.

    Excellent comments, also those of Big Chief.

    I agree that there are rare situations when a warning shot might be the best thing but those are pretty rare. I can instead see "presenting" (pointing / aiming) and not shooting as maybe a better idea.

    We in Texas don't really have a warning shot okay or not. The general law is that if you're justified in "presenting" a weapon (aiming) then you're justified in shooting that person anyway. Or you can fire a warning shot, either way is okay just so long as you're justified in the first place.

    Tenn is very right -- an urban (or even suburban) environment means that your bullet might ricochet off pavement, and so you're likely most okay with a warning shot if you're surrounded by plenty of open land and dirt.

    One of my self defense instructors told me that the first time the guy knows I'm armed is when he sees the muzzle flash (coming at him) but I think that's pretty extreme, as there are quite a few scenarios where the defender might avoid shooting someone by simply "presenting" or firing that warning shot.

    Main thing, as we've discussed before, is that this allowance to fire a warning shot doesn't get tweaked into a requirement to fire a warning shot first. That would be a dismal failure.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,733 Senior Member
    I would hate to know that I was required by law to take a 'shot across the bow,' while the enemy was training his sights on my 'bridge.'
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,099 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I would hate to know that I was required by law to take a 'shot across the bow,' while the enemy was training his sights on my 'bridge.'

    Does the warning shot come before or after you Mozambique them? I keep getting that mixed up.:jester:
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Does the warning shot come before or after you Mozambique them? I keep getting that mixed up.:jester:

    Depends on how accurately your warning shot hits them in the chest. "Hey, I did holler 'Look out!' when I fired. Isn't that enough of a warning?"

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,213 Senior Member
    I can see this turning into a "slippery slope" rather quickly with an over-zealous (anti-gun) prosecutor...

    Bottom line...Me, having a gun in my hand, should be all the warning a "reasonable man" should need. Though I'm sure there are those troglodytes who are willing to bet their lives I don't have the balls to use it....that would be their mistake....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    A warnig shot is a waste of ammo "period", and unnecessary in a lethal encounter.

    Every projectile has a lawyer attached to it. In the heat of battle (please excuse the war reference), would you be able to determine where that bullet will stop?

    How many warnings will the bad guy give? Unless one is extremely aware of your surroundings (situational awareness), none.

    Do we really need politicos dictating decisions to be made in micro - seconds.

    I'm against it other than that I got no opinion on the matter.

    Out!
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,351 Senior Member
    If I need to use a firearm in a life or death situation, I need to stop a threat right now to save a life. I do not understand how a warning shot factors in to this. If I were to take a warning shot, apparently, the situation is not life or death. I can see law enforcement using warning shots to get someone to stop doing what they are doing that is not a life or death situation since that is also their job, but the rest of us? If it isn't life or death, I think that gun needs to stay put away. I don't see any good coming from this at all.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,323 Senior Member
    It's a bad idea where I live, although I know of one instance where it stopped an officer from being beaten. Which was technically against policy, but it happened. I know of another instance where a prisoner escaped despite a warning shot, which again technically may have been against policy. It was against policy to use a Mag Light as a club, but I know of one officer who saved his butt by using one. It was, in effect, "illegal" to do so per our Federal Judge at the time.

    This may be different in FL, though. About ten years ago, the National Sheriff's Assn magazine had an article about warning shots. Somewhere out West, certain bars had steel plates in the ceiling purposely for warning shots. When a fight broke out and the deputy got there, they'd fire a warning shot into the ceiling, which allowed these macho guys to stop fighting and save face. This was, of course, a special circumstance with a history and the LEO was outnumbered many to one. And everyone knew the rules.

    So there isn't an answer that works universally, just maybe universally with a few exceptions.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    If I were to take a warning shot, apparently, the situation is not life or death. etc.

    Very clearly stated and very correct. And you're also right, LEOs operate under different rules of engagement than civilians, too.

    I suppose it's possible to come up with a possible scenario where a civilian might be okay firing a warning shot, but the circumstances are few.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,987 Senior Member
    The point of the law was that if you do you may not have to go to jail for assault provided you do not hit something you should not have.

    Some woman did and went to jail.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,197 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    The point of the law was that if you do you may not have to go to jail for assault provided you do not hit something you should not have.

    Some woman did and went to jail.
    Yes. After she went into her vehicle, got the gun, and came back into the house.

    I doubt this law would have kept her out of jail as she went INTO a situation with a gun when she could have continued to egress the situation.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Yes. After she went into her vehicle, got the gun, and came back into the house.

    I doubt this law would have kept her out of jail as she went INTO a situation with a gun when she could have continued to egress the situation.

    bream, you're covering two situations combined, which makes it a little confusing.

    First, leaving a "danger area" then getting armed and returning (when you could just stay away) removes any sort of need to defend herself. This assumes of course that there weren't other innocents inside the house who were in danger. Returning to a danger zone when you don't have to can put you into legal problems.

    Second, it's unclear from what NN said whether this occurred before or after Florida passed their "stand your ground" law, which would serve to mitigate the woman's returning.

    The details of the case that NN cites are too sketchy. And I'm confused as well (as I often am). He said:

    "The point of the law was that if you do you may not have to go to jail for assault provided you do not hit something you should not have. Some woman did and went to jail."

    NN, do you mean "did" means that she hit something w. her warning shot that she should not have? Do you have more info on that to clarify the situation? Thanks.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,197 Senior Member
    Sam, I live in Florida. I kinda know what's going on here. The case NN is referring to is what lead to the new law. It's also the case I'm referring to. They're both the same.

    Marissa Alexander was sentenced to a mandatory 20 yrs. in jail for firing a warning shot. Her husband was threatening her. She tried to leave the house by going to her vehicle in the garage, but left her keys in the house (with him.) She re-entered the house with a gun, and when she felt threatened (she claims) she fired a warning shot at him. Her kids were in the house at the time, which shows what sort of parent she was when she leaves them in the house to flee.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-06-20/news/sns-rt-us-usa-florida-warningshot-20140620_1_ground-law-marissa-alexander-new-law

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marissa_Alexander_case
    Overkill is underrated.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,987 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    bream, you're covering two situations combined, which makes it a little confusing.

    First, leaving a "danger area" then getting armed and returning (when you could just stay away) removes any sort of need to defend herself. This assumes of course that there weren't other innocents inside the house who were in danger. Returning to a danger zone when you don't have to can put you into legal problems.

    Second, it's unclear from what NN said whether this occurred before or after Florida passed their "stand your ground" law, which would serve to mitigate the woman's returning.

    The details of the case that NN cites are too sketchy. And I'm confused as well (as I often am). He said:

    "The point of the law was that if you do you may not have to go to jail for assault provided you do not hit something you should not have. Some woman did and went to jail."

    NN, do you mean "did" means that she hit something w. her warning shot that she should not have? Do you have more info on that to clarify the situation? Thanks.
    The link in the OP is all I got
    Monkey Boy has more knowledge of the issue since he lives there.

    But, as normal the discussion went beyond the original point and info in the link.

    Who would have thought that?
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    I am confused by some of the responses about slippery slopes. As I read the Link it makes a warning shot legal, it does not require one. If I can stop an attack with a brandish, or a warning shot, then I want the law on my side. I would agree that it is a very unlikely scenario where it would allow for a warning shot, but why have a problem with them being legal, and why is it a slippery slope?
    It's because I hate Trump.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,190 Senior Member
    I am confused by some of the responses about slippery slopes. As I read the Link it makes a warning shot legal, it does not require one. If I can stop an attack with a brandish, or a warning shot, then I want the law on my side. I would agree that it is a very unlikely scenario where it would allow for a warning shot, but why have a problem with them being legal, and why is it a slippery slope?

    First they make the warning shot legal, then they make the warning shot mandatory. Slippery slope.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,688 Senior Member
    Florida has a 10-20-Life statute. Basically, if you use a gun in the commission of a crime, you get sentenced to 10 years. If you fire the gun, you get sentenced to 20 years. If you hit someone, when you fire the gun, you get sentenced to life. This was apparently the premise that the woman was sentenced under. We will see how it all plays out. Keep yer powder dry......Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Her kids were in the house at the time, which shows what sort of parent she was when she leaves them in the house to flee.

    Well, did she flee or did she go to retrieve a weapon? Because if she ran, she'd still be running.

    She went back, apparently, and that warning shot was what got her in prison.

    Totally bogus, as I see it. She should have never been charged, or if so, w. a lesser offense.

    The Florida law is understandable somewhat, but it really should not be needed. Sad that it was needed and this new law seems to be just a "bad patch" on the problem.

    As is, if the law is perfectly enforced, I guess it will correct a problem that really should have been fixed by modifying the existing law. That being said, what we do NOT want is that the right to fire a warning shot becomes a requirement.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,197 Senior Member
    You didn't read what I said or the links I posted, did you?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that the change in the law that NN talks about will change the 10-20-Life law that Bro Hawken is talking about. And, if I remember correctly, there was another incident very recently where a man was charged with firing a warning shot which terminated the scenario taking place without the loss of life or anyone being shot yet he was tried under the 10-20-Life law. In this case the judge very strongly disagreed with the sentence he was forced to decree and openly stated that he did not want to pass the sentence he was forced to pass. breamfisher may know something about this.

    It seems to me that a warning shot fired by a 3rd party not necessarily involved with what is going down may be justified under some circumstances, but I can't see any rationale to it with two or more confronting parties. My opinion is that any gunplay in a confrontation should be a "double-tap" from the first round fired.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,197 Senior Member
    My understanding is that the warning shot legislation expands Stand Your Ground to allow the use of a discouraging shot to encourage the cessation of hostilities (supporters in the legislature don't like the term "warning shot.") Alexander was sentenced to the 20 year term as a mandatory sentencing because what she did was illegal, and the 20 years was mandated because she fired a gun. She was charged with 3 counts of assault with a deadly weapon (husband and 2 kids were in the house at the time) and could actually have been sentenced to 60 years (3 scared folks times 20 years). The judge ruled that all 3 sentences would be served concurrently.

    The only case I've found (after a not-too-exhaustive search) of a man being under punishment for a warning shot is a fellow who fired 5 shots into the air to scare off 4 gay men who were eyeballing him. That's an 80 year sentence: 4 scared men time 20 years. That judge ruled the terms were to be served consecutively.

    The 10-20-Life law is not something folks are really charged "under" but rather mandates certain minimum sentences if certain conditions are met.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,087 Senior Member
    Yeah I don't want to fire a warning shot. I know I'm responsible for that projectile and I'm planning on the BG's chest to stop it form hitting something I DON'T want to hit.

    How long before the warning shot defense is used by someone who shot, missed and DID hit an unintended target.
    Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.  ~ James Madison
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Not buying it tennmike. More freedom, and options for the "good guys" is not a bad thing. I am not saying they won't try the approach you fear might happen, but they don't need a "warning shot" law to try to restrict gun rights. They have been trying it for years right. This is just another option for Florida gun owners.
    It's because I hate Trump.
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    How long before the warning shot defense is used by someone who shot, missed and DID hit an unintended target.

    You own your shot whether you are firing a warning shot or the real deal. This would be no defense. If you fire a warning shot and it hits an unintended target you deserve whatever punishment the laws of your state deem appropriate.
    It's because I hate Trump.
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,087 Senior Member
    One concern about a law making warning shots legal is people who do not understand the principle of…just because you can do something does not mean you should. Those who are in scenarios where it would be unsafe to fire that warning shot, might still use the warning shot because it is "legal" to do so. Will the fact that it is legal to use a warning shot keep them out of prison when that shot takes out the neighbor's kid? Sure won't bring the kid back.

    A warning shot violates one of the basic firearm safety rules IMHO. Know your target and what is beyond.
    Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.  ~ James Madison
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