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Armed citizen in Florida called hero for stopping violent crime

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A Florida gun owner stopped a violent crime, by firing a warning shot, The Herald-Tribute in Sarasota, Fl. reported last night. Edwin Sullivan witnessed someone threatening another with a knife, and fired a warning shot to stop a stabbing. It caused the attacker to freeze and likely saved the life of the would-be victim, according to law enforcement officers who arrived at the scene.

The state legislature in Florida has passed the “Threatened Use of Force” bill, which allows the use of force by a citizen to stop a possible crime from happening. A citizen can show a gun, point it toward the attacker, and/or fire a warning shot to prevent a crime from taking place.

“The “Threatened Use of Force” bill, which was also known somewhat incorrectly as the “Warning Shot Bill,” was one of five gun bills pushed by the pro-gun activists during the last legislative session,” the Herald-Tribute reported. The state legislature passed and Florida's Governor Rick Scott signed, five new gun laws promoted by gun-rights activists.

The law was passed after a previous instance, of a use of a warning shot, that caused one citizen to end up in prison. The Herald-Tribute reported, “In 2012, (Marissa) Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot toward her husband, who she said was trying to kill her. Last year, an appellate court order that Alexander should receive a new trial. Her case is pending.”

In response to the Alexander case, lawmakers pushed for the legislature to enact the “Threatened Use of Force” bill to make legal the action Alexander took in her self-defense. The Herald-Tribute reported other recent instances in which heroic citizens have prevented crimes engaging in the very actions made legal by this new law. The Herald-Tribute article ended, “It's also good to know that local prosecutors are now barred from taking action against Sullivan, and won't be turning a Good Samaritan into a convicted felon.”

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