Florida Senate - 2019 SB 636 By Senator Braynon 35-00926-19 2019636__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to use or threatened use of force; 3 amending ss. 776.012 and 776.013, F.S.; revising the 4 standard under which a person is justified in using or 5 threatening to use nondeadly or deadly force from a 6 person’s reasonable belief to the objective belief of 7 a reasonably cautious and prudent person in the same 8 circumstances; amending s. 776.032, F.S.; revising the 9 burden of proof from clear and convincing evidence to 10 a preponderance of the evidence which the party 11 seeking to overcome immunity from criminal prosecution 12 under a specified provision must prove; providing that 13 immunity from prosecution is not available to an 14 aggressor; reenacting s. 790.25(5), F.S., relating to 15 lawful ownership, possession, and use of firearms and 16 other weapons, to incorporate the amendment made to s. 17 776.012, F.S., in a reference thereto; providing an 18 effective date. 19 20 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 21 22 Section 1. Section 776.012, Florida Statutes, is amended to 23 read: 24 776.012 Use or threatened use of force in defense of 25 person.— 26 (1) A person is justified in using or threatening to use 27 force, except deadly force, against another when and to the 28 extent that a reasonably cautious and prudent person in the same 29 circumstances would objectively believe
the person reasonably30 believesthat such conduct is necessary to defend himself or 31 herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful 32 force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance 33 with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before 34 using or threatening to use such force. 35 (2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use 36 deadly force if a reasonably cautious and prudent person in the 37 same circumstances would objectively believe he or she38 reasonably believesthat using or threatening to use such force 39 is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to 40 himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent 41 commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens 42 to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not 43 have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her 44 ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly 45 force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place 46 where he or she has a right to be. 47 Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 776.013, Florida 48 Statutes, is amended to read: 49 776.013 Home protection; use or threatened use of deadly 50 force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.— 51 (1) A person who is in a dwelling or residence in which the 52 person has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the 53 right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use: 54 (a) Nondeadly force against another when and to the extent 55 that a reasonably cautious and prudent person in the same 56 circumstances would objectively believe the person reasonably57 believesthat such conduct is necessary to defend himself or 58 herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful 59 force; or 60 (b) Deadly force if a reasonably cautious and prudent 61 person in the same circumstances would objectively believe he or62 she reasonably believesthat using or threatening to use such 63 force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily 64 harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent 65 commission of a forcible felony. 66 Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 776.032, Florida 67 Statutes, is amended, subsection (1) of that section is 68 republished, and subsection (5) is added to that section, to 69 read: 70 776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action 71 for justifiable use or threatened use of force.— 72 (1) A person who uses or threatens to use force as 73 permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified 74 in such conduct and is immune from criminal prosecution and 75 civil action for the use or threatened use of such force by the 76 person, personal representative, or heirs of the person against 77 whom the force was used or threatened, unless the person against 78 whom force was used or threatened is a law enforcement officer, 79 as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance 80 of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself 81 or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person 82 using or threatening to use force knew or reasonably should have 83 known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in 84 this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes 85 arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the 86 defendant. 87 (4) In a criminal prosecution, once a prima facie claim of 88 self-defense immunity from criminal prosecution has been raised 89 by the defendant at a pretrial immunity hearing, the burden of 90 proof by a preponderance of the evidence clear and convincing91 evidenceis on the party seeking to overcome the immunity from 92 criminal prosecution provided in subsection (1). 93 (5) Immunity from prosecution is not available to an 94 aggressor, as provided in s. 776.041. 95 Section 4. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment 96 made by this act to section 776.012, Florida Statutes, in a 97 reference thereto, subsection (5) of section 790.25, Florida 98 Statutes, is reenacted to read: 99 790.25 Lawful ownership, possession, and use of firearms 100 and other weapons.— 101 (5) POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.—Notwithstanding 102 subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 103 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed 104 firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose 105 within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, 106 if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is 107 otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing 108 herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other 109 than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such 110 firearm is being carried for a lawful use. Nothing herein 111 contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a 112 concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection 113 shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, 114 ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, 115 including lawful self-defense as provided in s. 776.012. 116 Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.