Florida’s annual Second Amendment battle is under way in Tallahassee, highlighted by an NRA-backed bill that would let people fire warning shots when attacked.

The change would broaden the “stand your ground” law, which allows anyone in fear of death or serious injury to use deadly force against a suspected attacker. If passed, firing warning shots to scare away an attacker will be legal.

Other bills introduced so far would make it easier to sue insurance companies that try to raise homeowners’ rates because of gun and ammunition ownership, and would let tax collectors’ offices process concealed-weapon permits. Even though Florida has issued more concealed-weapon permits than any other state – more than 1.2 million – backers want to make the process easier.

The warning-shot bill stems from the conviction of Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville woman sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot during an incident of alleged domestic violence. An appeal court overturned the conviction, and she faces a new trial.

“We’re trying to get some protection for the people who find themselves in a bad spot and don’t want to shoot somebody. Whatever we do here won’t change the circumstances of any case,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Neil Combee. “As it stands right now in ‘stand your ground,’ you have to shoot somebody.”

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