Florida public defenders back 'warning-shot' bill

theGRIO REPORT - The Florida Public Defender Association has announced it will back a measure (HB 89) that would grant immunity to people who show or fire guns in self-defense...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

The Florida Public Defender Association has announced it will back a measure (HB 89) that would grant immunity to people who show or fire guns in self-defense.

The ‘warning-shot’ bill was proposed by Polk City Republican Rep. Neil Combee.

Combee sponsored the bill after hearing about the sentencing of Marissa Alexander. The Florida woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun into a wall during an argument with her husband.

The lawmaker called Alexander’s case an example of the “negative unintended consequences” of Florida’s 10-20-Life law, The Florida Times-Union reports. The law requires minimum mandatory prison terms for gun-related crimes.

In a similar scenario, Michael Giles, 26, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing his gun outside a Tallahassee club at an attacker’s leg. Giles was on active duty with the United States Air Force and stationed in Tampa at the time.

A 2013 version of the bill was shot down, but backers are hoping the changes made to it will help it get passed in 2014.

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals

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