In this two-part article, we are discussing assault weapons and the laws that regulate them. Any person that watches the news knows that there are many hotly contested debates out there about assault weapons and whether or not citizens should have access to them. In the first section, we discussed everything from public opinion to federal assault weapons laws.
In this section, we will discuss the most recent federal proposals, state gun laws, and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. If you need the services of an experienced manslaughter defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm.
As we discussed last section, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 expired in 2004. Fast forward to today; although there have been numerous efforts to replace this ban, none have passed legislation. After a federal proposal failed to garner enough support in 2013, the most recent proposal, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015, aims to strengthen the expired 1994 ban. Most notably, barrel shrouds, pistol grips, telescoping stocks, and high-capacity magazines are being targeted by this proposal. This proposal has yet to pass legislation.
Many gun laws are regulated on a state-by-state basis. For example, weapons permits and the ability to carry weapons greatly vary depending on the state you are in. In Florida, the Sunshine State is a “shall issue” state that authorizes concealed carry and vehicle carry, and also permits “Stand Your Ground” laws. Another relevant Florida law is the “Red Flag” law which authorizes law enforcement to temporarily confiscate a person’s firearms if they are seen as a danger to society or to themselves. One state ruling related to assault weapons in Florida prohibits the use of bump stocks. This is a recoiling mechanism that enables semi-automatic firearms to fire at an accelerated rate (similar to a fully automatic firearm).
Florida Statute 776.013 establishes self-defense laws in the state. As the law states, if there is “use or threatened use of deadly force” or a “presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm,” a person, either in a dwelling or with reasonable fear of being in danger has “the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use” non-deadly or deadly force. The most notable case related to this law was the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman. The defendant was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter following the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted of these charges.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.