Weather Alert

BERTHA QUICKLY HEADING WEST-NORTHWEST

Tropical Storm Bertha formed over the Atlantic Thursday night and is heading west-northwest.  It has winds of 45 miles per hour and is not forecast to become a hurricane. The storm is not forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico.

WEATHER ALERT


TROPICAL STORM BERTHA

WEAR - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

"Warning Shot Bill" will affect laws like "10-20-Life" and "Stand Your Ground"

Florida residents who threaten to use a gun, or even fire a warning shot, could avoid criminal prosecution under a law recently signed by Governor Rick Scott.

House Bill 89 was inspired by Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville.
She was initially sentenced to twenty years in prison after firing a shot near her husband during an argument.
Alexander tried to use the "stand your ground" defense, but a judge rejected her claim.
She was sentenced under Florida's "10-20-Life" law, which requires mandatory sentences for using a gun.
Alexander is now awaiting a new trial.
   
By mid to late 1999, the "10-20- Life" law aimed at reducing gun violence was in full swing.
Under the initial law, anyone who shows a gun during certain felonies receives an automatic 10 years in prison.
If someone fires a gun, they receive an automatic 20-years in prison.
If someone is shot and wounded, they receive 25 years to life in prison.

House Bill 89, commonly called the 'Warning Shot Bill', modifies the '10-20-Life' law by allowing some exceptions to the rule.
Under the new law, the court cannot impose minimum prison terms for aggravated assault convictions if the defendant is believed to have fired their gun because of self-defense.
This would apply if the defendant wasn't involved in any unlawful activity when the shot was fired, or if they don't pose a threat to public safety.

Voters have mixed feelings about the changes.

"I think it's opening the doors for irresponsibility, and people going in and blaming their recklessness on that law", says Greg Smith.

Leon Hull says, "if they come on your property and you feel threatened, it is your right to protect you and your family, but some people will take that out of hand".

The Warning Shot Bill is one of nearly sixty bills signed by Governor Scott on Friday.