TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Floridians could fire warning shots or display a weapon in self-defense under a bill approved by the Florida Legislature on Thursday.

The measure, a substantial expansion of the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law, now goes to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.

He has not indicated as yet whether he will sign it.

The Senate voted 32-7 to approve it. The House approved the bill on March 20.

The measure says someone can threaten the use of force if that person feels his or her life, home or property were at risk of harm.

State Sen. Chris Smith, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, spoke against the proposal.

“I just don’t think it’s responsible right now to encourage people to fire warning shots,” he said. “I think it sends the wrong message to Florida.”

The 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.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.