Study links Florida's Stand Your Ground law to homicide increase


  • Photo via Michael Saechang/Flickr
A recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a significant increase in homicides per month since Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law was enacted in 2005.

The study looked at monthly homicide rates from 1999 to 2014. Prior to Stand Your Ground, Florida's monthly homicide rates by firearm was 0.29 deaths per 100,000, and after the law went into affect that number rose to 

The law states that someone is justifiable in using deadly force in the cases of home protection, if they have been threatened with deadly force, or if they have a fear of death or great bodily harm.

Since the introduction of Florida's Stand Your Ground, almost two dozen other states have adopted similar laws.

Stand Your Ground has been controversial since its inception, but even more so after the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford back in 2012. Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who used the Stand Your Ground law as his defense, saying he feared for his life.

Martin was unarmed.

"Our hypothesis was that these laws prevent people from taking alternative actions instead of using firearms in critical situations," said Antonio Gasparrini, co-author of the study, to NBC News.

"We just hope this evidence can be used to form a discussion on the pros and cons of these kinds of laws," said Gasparrini. "We don't have a preference about how this evidence will be used."

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