Gov. DeSantis reportedly drafts anti-mob bill that would allow people to shoot looters
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is reportedly backing legislation to expand the state’s stand-your-ground law to allegedly allow business owners to shoot looters or those committing criminal mischief in a worst-case scenario. The GOP chief executive also wants to increase penalties for protesters who block traffic and imposes sanctions on municipalities who seek to defund local police.
DeSantis administration lawyers have supposedly circulated the so-called anti-mob legislation draft among Florida senate lawmakers who serve on the criminal justice committee and the house judiciary committee. Thus far, however, no such bill has actually been filed in either the Florida senate or house, both of which don’t go back into formal session until March 2. 2021. This means that such a bill has a long way to go before it can be enacted in some form, if ever.
According to the Miami Herald, the following is the essence of the legislation that was crafted in response to the nationwide unrest that has occurred over the summer:
“The proposal would expand the list of ‘forcible felonies’ under Florida’s self-defense law to justify the use of force against people who engage in criminal mischief that results in the ‘interruption or impairment’ of a business, and looting, which the draft defines as a burglary within 500 feet of a ‘violent or disorderly assembly.’
“Other key elements of DeSantis’ proposal would enhance criminal penalties for people involved in ‘violent or disorderly assemblies,’ make it a third-degree felony to block traffic during a protest, offer immunity to drivers who claim to have unintentionally killed or injured protesters who block traffic, and withhold state funds from local governments that cut law enforcement budgets.”
One prosecutor told the Herald that the law could justify vigilantism, however, including allowing a property crime to be punished by death.
Civil liberties advocates on the liberal spectrum are likely to oppose legislation of this nature.
In September, while reaffirming support for free speech and the constitutional right to peacefully assemble, Gov. DeSantis championed the “strongest pro-law enforcement, anti-rioting, anti-looting legislation anywhere in the country.”
A separate bill called the Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act reportedly is expected to go before the state legislature in March.
At the time, DeSantis warned that unlike other jurisdictions around the country who failed to deal with civil unrest effectively, violent anarchists will find that “a ton of bricks will rain down” on them, legally speaking, if they try to act out in Florida.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 12, 2020
Despite gaslighting by the liberal media, DeSantis — a U.S. Navy veteran and an ex-U.S. congressman — has done a stellar job in balancing the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and allowing Florida to reopen for business safely.