Florida homeowners are being encouraged to take gun safety courses to protect against any burglars who enter their homes.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson told homeowners they are “more than welcome to shoot” at burglars during a press conference announcing the department’s arrest of Brandon Harris, a man he described as being among “frequent flyers” who most recently broke into several homes Wednesday.

Johnson said a homeowner shot at Harris before the burglar ran to another house, but that homeowner has not come forward.


“I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not,” Johnson said. “If somebody is breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot at them in Santa Rosa County. We prefer that you do actually.”

The sheriff added that those who take a gun safety course will shoot a gun "a lot better" and perhaps save taxpayers some money.

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Florida law allows people to protect their homes by way of force, stating, “A person who is in a dwelling or residence in which the person has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use.”

None of the fired shots hit Harris, but he did have bloody cuts from hopping fencing and jumping through a window.

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Harris was charged with attempted burglary with assault, burglary to an occupied dwelling, and resisting arrest, criminal mischief, attempted larceny, burglary to an unoccupied dwelling. His bond was set at $157,500, the sheriff said.