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Bill protects people who fire a weapon in self-defense

TALLAHASSEE — A Florida state legislator has filed a bill to exempt anyone who fires a warning shot in self-defense from the state's minimum-mandatory-sentencing laws.

Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City, filed the bill Thursday in response to the conviction of a woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a gun near her estranged husband during an argument.

His action came the same day an appeals court granted the woman, Marissa Alexander, a new trial.

Under Combee's proposed legislation, those in situations such as Alexander's would be exempt from the state's "10-20-Life" law, which requires anyone who shows a gun while committing certain felonies to be sentenced to 10 years in prison. If someone is shot and wounded during the commission of those crimes, the sentence increases to 25 years to life.

Bill protects people who fire a weapon in self-defense 09/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 9:41pm]
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