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DeSantis signs bill allowing residents to kill bears, vetoes bill that fines slow left lane drivers

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill allowing people to kill black bears on their property and vetoed a bill seeking a crackdown on slow drivers in the left lane.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation allowing people to kill black bears on their property while vetoing a bill that targets slow drivers in the left lane.

The governor signed 14 bills from this year’s legislative session and vetoed three, his office announced Friday.

H.B. 87 provides a stand-your-ground defense for Florida residents to shoot and kill black bears on their property to defend themselves and their property.


Under the bill, anyone who shoots and kills a bear must notify Florida Fish and Wildlife within 24 hours of killing the bear, and they may not keep or sell the bear carcass. Legal immunity will not be provided for anyone who lures bears onto their property.

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Supporters of this law say Floridians have a right to defend themselves and their property, while opponents contest it could lead to increased deaths of the once-threatened animals, according to WFOR.

Opponents said they would consider legal action against the law.

“We will file a lawsuit to get that bill overturned.” Katrina Shadix of the group Bear Warriors told Fox 35. “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 will take effect on July 1.

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DeSantis vetoed H.B. 317, which would have prohibited drivers from cruising in the left lanes of highways with at least two lanes and speed limits of at least 65 mph. The bill, which would have fined violators up to $158 for an offense, included exemptions for drivers who were passing other drivers, preparing to exit, turning from the left lanes or being directed to the left lanes by traffic-control devices.

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“The language of this bill is too broad and could lead to drivers in Florida being pulled over, ticketed, and fined for driving in the furthest left lane even if they are not impeding the flow of traffic or if there are few or no other cars in the immediate are,” DeSantis wrote in his veto letter.

The governor also said the bill could “potentially increase congestion in Florida’s urban areas as drivers may decide to not utilize the furthest left-hand lane at all for fear of being ticketed.”

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