Floridians could soon have more leeway to shoot those who break into their homes

Floridians could shoot anyone who invades their homes or cars with the intention of harming them, under a bill that got preliminary approval today in the Senate.

The bill by Sen. Durrell Peaden, R-Crestview, basically says that you don't have to back away from a confrontation. Under existing law, people can be prosecuted if they don't first try to find a way to escape from a confrontation.

Sen. Steve Geller, D-Hallendale, unsuccessfully tried to amend the bill so that it would only apply to homes, cars and other private locations - not confrontations on the street. Geller said he supported the old concept that "a man's home is his castle," and thought people should be able to defend themselves against carjackers, but he didn't want shootouts on the street if they could be avoided.

The Senate shouted down his amendment in a voice vote, and scheduled Peaden's bill for final action on Wednesday.

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