Thursday, March 9, 2017

It's Time Again For Floridians To Call Their Legislators

The Florida Senate is considering SB 128 which would restore the immunity from prosecution in legitimate self-defense shootings. The original 2005 law had that but the Florida Supreme Court then placed the burden of proof on the defendant and not the prosecution. SB 128 would reverse this.

It should be noted that just because a legislator has a "R" after his or her name does not mean her or she is on our side. Lee Williams, The Gun Writer, illustrates this clearly in his posts about the treachery of Senate President Pro Temp Anitere Flores (R-Miami). She was for gun rights before she was against them. She is responsible for killing the bills that would allow campus carry.

More on the issue in this FloridaCarry alert:
SB 128 - Burden of Proof
Full Senate hears bill tomorrow!

Contact Senators Now!!!

Perhaps the single most important bill of the session, SB 128 - Burden of Proof, restores the
full effect of legislative immunity back to the lawful user of self-defense where it belongs!

When the first claims of immunity were made under the 2005 "stand your ground" bill package, the courts had no judicial procedure in place to deal with the legislative immunity created by the bill.

Chapter 776.032 Florida Statutes clearly states -

A person who uses or threatens to use force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s.776.031 is justified in such conduct and is immune from criminal prosecution... 

As used in this subsection, the term "criminal prosecution" includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

The Florida Supreme Court created a procedure, but ignored legislative intent. Under current case law -

1. The burden of proof that self-defense was necessary is on the defendant, not the State.

2. Any evidence or statements made by the defendant may be used against him in any ensuing action.

This great bill restores full effect to the Legislature's immunity statute, which the Court has improperly neutered.

Four amendments were filed today to dilute this bill!

Senators Simmons, Thurman, and Rodriguez have together filed four amendments today, all watering down certain provisions of this bill. These amendments must be defeated or the intent of the Legislature will continue to be ignored by the courts.

Florida Carry opposes the floor amendments filed today, and enthusiastically supports SB 128 as tendered.

important note on contacting your legislators:
We cannot stress enough the necessity of telling legislators how you feel they should vote. During the legislative sessions, we issue Action Alerts asking our members and supporters to take a few moments to contact legislators. Email addresses, subject line, and sample body are all included in these alerts to allow cut and paste into your email client.

Please take the few seconds it takes to send an email when you receive an Action Alert from Florida Carry. The failure or success of a bill can hinge on that simple act.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Please, take a few moments to ask the members of the Senate to support SB 128.

Remember that whether you contact the committee members either by email or by phone, to be courteous and respectful above all else. Be sure to keep your message brief, and thank them for their time.

In the subject line put:  SUPPORT SB 128 - Burden of Proof

(Copy and Paste All email addresses into the "Send To" box);;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Sample Body:
Dear Senator,
In 2005, the Legislature approved immunity for those involved in lawful acts of self-defense. This immunity included protection from the expense and embarrassment of arrest and prosecution unless sufficient evidence existed to show the act was not in lawful self-defense. The Florida Supreme Court neutered legislative intent by not only placing the burden of proof on the defendant, but that testimony given in defense can be used against the defendant in later proceedings. This flies in the face of Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and certainly is in contrast to the long held American legal principle one is innocent until proven guilty.

Please support SB 128.


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