The “Threatened Use of Force” bill (SB 448) will come in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, which Evers chairs. It’s identical to a proposal (HB 89) by Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City, that would amend the “stand your ground” self-defense law. And it’s closely related to a bill (SB 438) filed by Sen. Thad Altman, R-Viera, called the “Defense of Life, Home, or Property” bill, which says, in part, that it is the “intent of the Legislature that a person be immunized from prosecution if he or she acts in such a manner as to protect life, home, or property from an imminent or actual unlawful activity.”
Combee’s bill passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee in November as a committee substitute, which is now being reviewed. A similar measure by Combee failed to advance during the 2013 legislative session. The prior attempt sought to amend the state’s 10-20-Life sentencing law.
Under the 10-20-Life law, possessing a gun while committing certain crimes is punishable by at least 10 years in prison, discharging a gun while committing those crimes is punishable by at least 20 years in prison, and hurting or killing someone during those crimes is punishable by 25 years to life in prison. Now, with Combee’s bill seeking to amend the “stand your ground” law instead of 10-20-Life, it has gained the support of the Florida Public Defender Association.