TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A bill making its way through the Florida Senate would make it illegal to protest or picket outside someone's private home.
Republican Sen. Keith Perry who represents District 8 filed SB 1664: "Unlawful Assemblies" on Jan. 6.
In the short time since, the bill passed the Committee on Judiciary with a unanimous vote and is now before the state Senate's Committee on Criminal Justice.
Under the bill, if three or more people "meet together to commit a breach of the peace or to do any other unlawful act" they could face arrest and be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.
The Associated Press reports violators could also face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
"This bill recognizes the right of privacy, safety and peace that we all deserve in our homes," Perry said, adding that the bill does not prevent marches and other mobile demonstrations.
While Perry says the bill was inspired by several instances, protests by anti-maskers at a school board member's home and protests at Brian Laundrie's parent's home were used as examples during a Jan. 31 committee meeting.
"So, Brian Laundrie, the murderer from Southwest Florida, had days and days of protests at his house — at this parent's house. He's not an elected official. his parents weren't an elected official but that wasn't right either. Whatever side you're on it doesn't matter. It gives a protection," a lieutenant with the Orange County Sheriff's Office said during public comment.
If passed, the bill will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2022.