A bill has been introduced in Florida that would grant residents the right to defend themselves against bears on their property. The bill, known as “Taking of Bears” (SB 632), was filed in the state Senate on Wednesday by Republican Senator Corey Simon. If passed, it would allow residents to use lethal force against a bear without a permit or authorization if they feel threatened or consider it necessary for their protection on their property.
However, the bill does come with certain limitations. It specifies that these protections would not apply if a person knowingly entices a bear with food for an illegal purpose, such as training dogs to hunt bears, or if the person incites the attack. In addition, anyone who kills a bear under this law would be required to notify the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission within 24 hours. Furthermore, they would be prohibited from selling or disposing of any part of the bear.
The issue of encounters with bears has been a topic of concern for lawmakers and law enforcement in recent months. As such, this bill has gained traction as a potential solution to address the increased number of bear encounters across the state. If the legislation is approved, it will take effect on July 1, 2024.
In conclusion, the proposed Florida bill, “Taking of Bears” (SB 632), aims to empower residents to defend themselves against bears on their property. While residents would be allowed to use lethal force without a permit or authorization if they feel threatened, certain limitations would apply. This includes situations where a bear is enticed with food for illegal purposes or if the person incites the attack. The bill also requires individuals to notify the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission within 24 hours if they kill a bear under these circumstances. The legislation, if passed, would take effect starting July 1, 2024.