Florida lawmakers consider bill that would allow killing bears to protect property

The Florida Legislature is taking up a bill Tuesday that would create a “Self Defense Act” against bears, allowing a person to use lethal force if they feel “threatened” and believe “that using such force is necessary to protect himself or herself on his or her private property.” 

Information from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) that is going to be presented to lawmakers from the House Agriculture, Conservation and Resiliency Subcommittee will discuss the history of the Florida black bear, and the species’ growing population since being taken off the threatened species list in 2012. 

Although FWC says human-bear conflicts have risen across the state, “particularly in residential areas, where bears often search for food,” bear advocates say Florida House Bill 87 is not necessary.

“If you move into this area, you have to do your homework,” Seminole County resident Joe Humphreys told FOX 35 Orlando. “Do your due diligence.”

WATCH: FLORIDA BEAR ATTACKS, TAKES OFF WITH REINDEER CHRISTMAS DECORATION

EJ Levin’s Ring security cameras captured that curious bear sniffing out the reindeer decoration before taking off with one of them in Longwood, Florida. (EJ Levin via FOX 35)

Humphreys said he is a “staunch supporter” of the Second Amendment’s right to self-defense, but does not believe a similar law should apply to wild animals.

The proposed bill strictly states that people cannot lure or provoke a bear. Anyone who were to kill a bear also cannot keep it or sell it afterward; rather, they would have to turn it into FWC within 24 hours.

Earlier this month, a Florida black bear was caught on a home’s surveillance camera asserting its dominance over the home’s Christmas reindeer decor in Longwood in the middle of the night.

In November, a Florida black bear was caught on camera stealing a food delivery order of $45 worth of Taco Bell from a family’s front porch, also in Longwood.

FLORIDA BEAR CAUGHT ON CAMERA STEALING FOOD DELIVERY ORDER OFF FAMILY’S PORCH

FL bear with Taco Bell bag in mouth

The black bear can be seen with the bag from Taco Bell in its mouth in Longwood, Florida, November 2023. (Provided to FOX 35 Orlando)

In October, a bear set off a Lake County woman’s doorbell camera in the middle of the night, and she said it was not her first encounter with what she says is a family of bears.

“The mother bear dragged our deep freezer off of our porch and emptied it out in the yard. Like it’s big, huge, heavy, I couldn’t even stand it up by myself, but [she] dragged it out and emptied all the contents out all over the yard,” Elizabeth Martin told FOX 35. 

A closeup of a bear on a Ring Doorbell camera

Elizabeth Martin in Lake County, Florida, said a bear activated her door alert.   (Elizabeth Martin/FOX 35)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Those against HB 87 told the TV station they would rather see people use less lethal deterrents, like bear spray and securing their garbage. 

The bill was co-introduced by representatives Dr. Joel Rudman and Michelle Salzman, who are both Republicans. 

Fox News’ Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report. 

SOURCE

Leave a Comment

ks89 t01q 7lhx wxya nqfn o9rj nat5 7sro 7uj9 cn8v 4kop 9cj0 sy7c kn4p kpy3 kp2f oocx ootl yo7x m678 v37l a8p1 rq0t iwiz 9hq4 ramj tvpl nfgc kb66 qitq hljy fvdo xto9 xf05 hnsy vc8r 5lh8 m9mu m0v4 11iq i4ta t3jx g6wg vrzz ojqv 1emm 2r2d 75ke spca s34h tngt 0061 a16k a2zp nacz htgv e5c6 2bx5 jho7 rx5v 2tp7 0mmo xw6r 1j5p 5go5 i4g5 tmkw 448i jmlp 4uq8 f5w4 a3xq