Killing Bears And Driving Slow In Left Lane: DeSantis's Latest Bill Has Some Scratching Heads...

By Lisa Pelgin | Monday, 24 June 2024 09:30 AM
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Image Credit : Axios

In a move that has sparked both praise and controversy, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has given his approval to a law that permits residents to kill black bears on their property.

Simultaneously, he has vetoed a bill aimed at penalizing slow drivers in the left lane. The Governor's office revealed on Friday that he had signed 14 bills from this year's legislative session while vetoing three.

According to Fox News, House Bill 87, now signed into law, offers a stand-your-ground defense for Floridians, allowing them to shoot and kill black bears on their property in defense of themselves and their property. The law stipulates that anyone who kills a bear must inform the Florida Fish and Wildlife within 24 hours of the incident and cannot keep or sell the bear carcass. The law does not offer legal immunity to those who entice bears onto their property.

Proponents of the law argue that it upholds the rights of Floridians to protect themselves and their property. However, critics argue that it could lead to an increase in the death toll of these once endangered animals, as reported by WFOR. Legal action against the law is being considered by opponents.

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Katrina Shadix of the group Bear Warriors expressed her opposition to Fox 35, stating, "We will file a lawsuit to get that bill overturned. This will be protecting the future of Florida black bears, the survival of a species we love so much. And, also going to save the lives of our children who are at risk of being shot by a stray bullet meant for a bear." The law is set to come into effect on July 1.

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In contrast, Governor DeSantis vetoed House Bill 317, which sought to penalize drivers who cruise in the left lanes of highways with at least two lanes and speed limits of at least 65 mph. The bill proposed fines of up to $158 for offenders, with certain exemptions.

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In his veto letter, DeSantis expressed concerns about the bill's broad language, stating it could result in Florida drivers being pulled over, ticketed, and fined for driving in the furthest left lane, even if they are not obstructing traffic or if there are few or no other cars in the immediate area. He also suggested that the bill could potentially increase congestion in Florida's urban areas, as drivers might avoid using the furthest left-hand lane altogether for fear of being ticketed.

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