Report Finds Stand Your Ground Laws Increase Gun Deaths--African Americans Affected Most

Analysis of Stand Your Ground Laws Shows Rise in Overall Homicides

In advance of this week’s U.S. Senate hearing on Stand Your Ground laws, and the anticipated testimony of Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, an analysis of these laws finds staggering increase homicides—both justifiable and overall, with the greatest impact felt by African Americans.

The report– Shoot First: ‘Stand Your Ground Laws and Their Effect on Violent Crime and the Criminal Justice System – was released today by the Urban League and Mayors Against Illegal Guns and offers a comprehensive review of a legal phenomenon that drew national attention after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.  The study details how these laws have skewed self-defense claims in favor of shooters, sharply increasing successful claims that fatal shootings were justified while boosting the overall homicide rates. The report also provides an analysis of the Stand Your Ground laws in each of the 22 states that have adopted them since Florida passed the nation’s first in 2005. 

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