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Location: Florida,USA
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Deadly force Law in Florida

We no longer have to retreat or make sure the criminal falls inside the door when shot.
Now we just have to feel "threatened" and can defend ourselves anywhere, including inside our vehicles or walking down the street.
Now we can use deadly force defending our property in and around our house, car or anywhere else it my be located.
Before this law we could only use deadly force when all attempts to retreat were exhausted and only to defend life and limb.....not personal property.

Personally, I like it.

http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/tallahassee/news/local/12789460.htm
http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/1871382.html

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Deadly force Law in Florida

Of course, the critics are crying and moaning about how this is going to turn Florida into "Dodge City on a Saturday night," just like they did 20 years ago when Florida passed its "shall issue" law. Of course, the critics will be completely wrong, just like they were 20 years ago.

In fact, a large number of states already have laws similar to what Florida just recently passed. Here in Colorado it has been the case for a long time that you were not required to attempt to retreat before defending yourself.

The really funny thing about their "Dodge City on a Saturday night" crap is that Dodge City HAD gun control!

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Location: Colorado
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Deadly force Law in Florida

I say good for Florida!! Maybe the criminals will take notice and think twice before robbing someone.

Our laws are a bit more stringent here in Colorado. You may protect yourself in your space (vehicle, home, tent, etc.) but only if you are physically threatened with harm and they have entered that space. It is my understanding that you cannot use deadly force to protect property. Deadly force can only be used to protect your body or someone else's body.

I agree with Don, this will not turn Florida into a Dodge City. All this does is give law abiding folks more muscle to protect themselves. Do you think criminals think about what or when they can shoot?

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Location: Utah
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Deadly force Law in Florida

Better late than never. We need more laws like this that restore law abiding citizens' rights back to where they used to be - before they were taken away in favor of overprotecting the criminals.

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Joined: 09/27/2005
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Deadly force Law in Florida

Nicely done. Congrats Florida! Thumbs up

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Deadly force Law in Florida
cowgal wrote:
It is my understanding that you cannot use deadly force to protect property.

Actually, cowgal, here in Colorado you CAN use deadly force to protect your home. The so-called "Make My Day" law, passed in 1985, basically assumes that anyone who breaks into your home is a de facto threat to your life (which I think is a very reasonable assumption).

So you are allowed to use deadly force against them if you believe they might use ANY level of physical force against you. They do not have to have a weapon, they do not have to SAY they are going to use force against you, they do not even have to DO anything that is obviously threatening. You just have to believe that they MIGHT use force against you.

So far, since the law was passed, no jury has ever concluded that a homeowner was not justified in assuming that an intruder might use SOME level of force against him or her after breaking into the house.

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Deadly force Law in Florida

Don, just recently (about a month ago) I listened to a local judge give a presentation on how & when a person can use deadly force. She's a long time judge in our county, as well as an avid hunter/shooter & owns many firearms. So I felt her presentation was reliable.

She stated that a person must be threatened with a weapon, even if its just a 2x4 to be able to use deadly force in Colorado. She was also explicit that you cannot simply defend property, you must feel personally threatened. I imagine someone breaking into your home is enough, but she said you have to be careful. If someone is just walking off with your TV and you catch them in the act, you are not allowed to shoot them.

Here is a link to the statutes in Colorado:
http://198.187.128.12/colorado/lpext.dll/Infobase4/29db9/29dde?f=templat...

Then scroll down to 18-1-703, 18-1-704, etc. Here are the actual legal descriptions of when you can use deadly force. 18-1-706 covers defense of property.

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Location: Colorado
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Posts: 394
Deadly force Law in Florida

The link you provided, cowgal, appears to be incomplete or out of date. It does not include section 5 of C.R.S 18-1-704. Here is another link to LexisNexis that does include that section.

http://198.187.128.12/colorado/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=fs-main.htm&2.0

Section 5 is relatively short, though, so I'll include it here...

18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
Statute text

(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.

(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.

(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.

...So, you can see in paragraph 2 that deadly force can be used against someone who has broken into your home if you believe that person intends to commit a crime against either a person or property.

Now, outside of your home, it is absolutely true that you can only use deadly force in defense of yourself or another (not just property). Inside your home, though, is a special case ever since the "Make My Day" law was passed.

Not sure why your local judge didn't mention this exception, but there it is.

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Deadly force Law in Florida

Don, maybe the way the judge explained the statutes made me understand it a bit differently. She focused on the necessity of feeling physically threatened by the intruder before you could use deadly force against them. I personally would feel threatened regardless of whether they were attacking me or taking my possessions. The key phrase in the statute being "the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant". So by adding "no matter how slight" does make it broad.

What matters in the end is how the law is interpreted and applied. To date I believe its been applied as intended.

Getting back to Florida... it will be interesting to see how this affects the crime rate. You would think that criminals would think twice now before breaking into a home/business.

The media sure has gone overboard on the hype. Some of the articles I've read make it sound like you better not even look at someone cross-eyed in Florida or they will blow you away. How absurd!

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Location: Missouri/Arkansas
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Deadly force Law in Florida

That's our extreme-liberal media in action, cowgal.

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