ORLANDO, Fla. - A bill that will be discussed in the Florida Legislature on Tuesday would allow people to shoot bears on their property if it's in self-defense. However, bear advocates plan to travel to Tallahassee to voice their opposition.
"If you move into this area, you have to do your homework," said Joe Humphreys. "Do your due diligence."
Humphreys lives in Seminole County, where he sees bears all the time.
"I’m a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, the right to self-defense," Humphreys said.
Humphreys added that there's no need for a law that lets people kill bears if they feel threatened on their property.
Florida House Bill 87 would allow that kind of self-defense, but people wouldn't be able to lure the bears or provoke them, and they couldn't keep or sell the bear afterward. Someone who kills a bear would have to tell the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) within 24 hours.
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"Why would I take 24 hours to notify law enforcement that I just killed a bear?" Humphreys asked.
Back in August, a Sanford man unloaded his pistol into a bear that he says charged at him, according to the FWC. He did not get in any trouble, because it was deemed self-defense.
Those against the bill say they'd rather see people use a less lethal deterrent like bear spray and focus on securing their garbage.
"It’s almost like there’s a solution looking for a problem," Humphreys said.
FOX 35 News reached out to the lawmakers who drafted the House and Senate versions of the bill Monday to ask about their reasons.
They did not respond before this story was published.