Florida Legislator Wants People to Be Allowed to Fire Warning Shots

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Polk City Rep. Neil Combee wants to let people fire warning shots if they are threatened, without fear of getting arrested for it. So, he filed a bill to make that a law.

Combee's bill is a response to Marissa Alexander, the 32-year-old African American mother of three who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a gun into the air to ward off her abusive husband. She recently had her conviction overturned and is getting a new trial.

See also: Marissa Alexander Must Be Pardoned By Rick Scott

Combee, a Republican, filed bill HB 89 on Thursday.

The bill would let people defend themselves, like Alexander did, without consequence of jail.

It would, in theory, save a person from the state's "10-20-Life" law if they show their gun or fire a warning shot to detract an attacker.

In August of 2010, Alexander and her then-husband, Rico Gray -- who has a documented case of domestic abuse -- got into a heated dispute.

Frightened for her safety, Alexander fired a warning shot into the wall to ward him off.

Alexander then cited "stand your ground." But the 10-20-Life law derailed her defense and a judge ruled that Alexander was not eligible to use "stand your ground" as a defense because he saw her as the aggressor.

The case got national attention, and even got us to call on Gov. Rick Scott to pardon Alexander.

An appeals court ordered a new trial for Alexander, and prompted Combee to file the bill.

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