Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and others like it have gained notoriety since the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin and a number of other similar cases. The laws, which exist in two dozen states, give gun-holders more authority to shoot and kill in self-defense and police wide latitude for interpretation.
Over a 10-year period there was an 8 percent increase in homicides in the states that passed Stand Your Ground laws, according to new research from Texas A&M University. The law did not deter burglary, robbery or assault either.
“One possibility for the increase in homicide is that perhaps [in cases where] there would have been a fistfight … now, because of stand your ground laws, it’s possible that those escalate into something much more violent and lethal.”