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Florida Sheriff’s Version of Fiscal Responsibility— ‘We Prefer’ Homeowners Shoot Burglars to ‘Save Taxpayer Money’

by Brooke Kaufman

According to Santa Rosa County, Florida, Sheriff Bob Johnson, homeowners who encounter burglars should stand their ground and, if necessary, use deadly force. During a press conference, Johnson told residents that they’re “more than welcome” to shoot burglars.

“If somebody’s breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County, and we prefer that you do actually,” Johnson said.

32-year-old Brandon Joseph Harris, the subject of the press conference, recently went on a home invasion spree in northwest Florida. According to the Pensacola News Journal, Johnson wasn’t sure which homeowner shot at Harris. He has since been arrested and accused of committing a series of home invasions.

During the press conference, Johnson gave a statement in support of the homeowner. “I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not,” Johnson said.“Whoever that was, you’re not in trouble. Come see us. We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday, and if you take that, you’ll shoot a lot better, and hopefully, you’ll save the taxpayers money.”

Harris has been arrested 17 times and committed his first offense at age 13. He previously spent six-and-a-half years in prison for a home invasion.

“Some people just don’t learn,” Johnson said. “For us, he is job security. We deal with him all the time. Hopefully, this time he will go, and he won’t get out.”

Second Amendment supporters also weighed in on Johnson’s controversial statements. Concealed Nation, a gun advocacy group, said, “using your firearm to defend property is a gray area, but if an intruder is inside your home, all bets are off, and you must do what you can to defend yourself and your home.”

According to Fighter Law, Florida is a “stand your ground” state, meaning people are allowed to use deadly force as self-defense if they reasonably believe they or someone else are at risk of bodily harm or death. If an intruder breaks in to someone’s home, the law presumes the homeowner has a “reasonable fear” of danger and that the intruder entered the home with the intent to commit a violent crime. There are some limitations to stand-your-ground statutes, including shooting police officers carrying out their duties or shooting an intruder in the back, presumably as they are leaving the home.

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