FAMM Applauds Florida House Passage of Threatened Use of Force Act

Post Date: March 20, 2014

Contact: Greg Newburn, Florida director for Families Against Mandatory Minimums, gnewburn@famm.org

The Threatened Use of Force Act passed the Florida House early Thursday evening. HB 89 provides legal protection for persons who threaten to use force—such as by firing warning shots—in situations in which deadly force is already protected by Florida law. 

“HB 89 addresses a glaring hole in Florida law, which is the lack of legal protection for people who defend themselves by threatening to use force but stop short of injuring the party or parties posing the threat,” said Greg Newburn, Florida director of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “This bill fixes that without changing the standard that governs when a person may act in self-defense.”

The Threatened Use of Force Act was introduced in the House by Republican Rep. Neil Combee and Democratic Rep. Katie Edwards. It has wide support from criminal justice advocates across Florida, including Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the Public Defenders Association, and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as the NRA, Florida Carry, and the Florida Sheriffs Association.

“Representatives Edwards and Combee did Floridians a great service by introducing this bill,” Newburn said. “As did Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rep. Dennis Baxley, who ushered it through their respective committees.”