Florida Lawmakers Want to Strip Gun Owners Who Lawfully Defend Themselves of Criminal and Civil Immunity

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Florida crooks are after gun owner’s money ….. They want to be able to sue you in civil court even if a criminal court finds you not guilty in a self-defense shooting… and… its all about the money.

A panel of Florida legislators is contriving to eviscerate the law that provides criminal and civil immunity to citizens who lawfully defend themselves against a lethal attack.

Florida’s Self Defense Immunity law provides immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force. The group wanting to gut this law claims they are about “improving Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. There is nothing further from the truth.

This immunity can be determined either pre-trial in a self-defense immunity hearing (often mistakenly referred to as a “Stand Your Ground” hearing) or during the trial itself. To win on this issue the person seeking immunity must be found to have acted in lawful self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning, more likely than not).
Importantly, this immunity statute comes with real teeth. If a civil suit is brought against a defender, and he is later found to have acted in lawful self-defense, the court is required–no discretion–to award the defender attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of that suit. Importantly, this monetary award would be paid for by the party bringing the law suit, not by the taxpayers of Florida. The statute therefore provides a powerful disincentive to someone bringing suit against someone who apparently acted in lawful self-defense.
Without this immunity statute a defender can easily be placed at great peril of economic destruction. Normally in a civil suit the jury is allowed to apportion liability between the parties. If a defender who successfully defended himself against a vicious criminal attack is later sued by his attacker (or the attacker’s survivors) for, say, $10 million, the jury might determine the defender is merely 10% at fault. In that case, however, the defender, however lawful his use of force in self-defense may have been, must not still cough up 10% of the damages sued for–in our hypothetical that would amount to a cool $1 million. The criminal aggressor’s lawyer would typically retain one-third of that amount for the legal fee, and more, for their overhead).
Florida’s self-defense immunity statute prevents this kind of secondary attack by criminal aggressors in the civil courts.

Given the vast amount of moneys being kept out of the reach of plaintiff’s lawyers by the Self-Defense Immunity statute it’s not hard to understand why there might be powerful forces working to cut that law.

read more at Bearing Arms

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  • Coffin full of nails

    another nail in the coffin that is america to be buried soon…

  • Bob Howell

    Just another attempt to ban guns. Crooked law makers love stealing peoples hard earned money.

  • Brad

    names, we need names so we know who to vote out