According to a report published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine, gun homicides in Florida have increased since the passage of the “Stand Your Ground” law.
Analyzing data from 1999 to 2014, the study found that gun-related homicides in Florida increased 31.6 percent since the law was passed in 2005 during Jeb Bush‘s term as governor.
From The Huffington Post:
Florida’s “stand your ground” law protects people who use deadly force when citing self-defense ― even if escape is an option. The law received increased scrutiny in the wake of George Zimmerman’s fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager. Although Zimmerman’s lawyers did not invoke the law during his defense, a juror told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that it affected the jury’s “not guilty” verdict.
The National Rifle Association pushed for and helped draft the legislation. Following its passage, then-Miami Police Chief John Timoney called the law a “license to murder” and warned it could drive an increase of lethal force “where it shouldn’t be used.”
Although some are skeptical about the law’s links to increased killings, the Wall Street Journal reports that “a 2013 academic study that compared 20 ‘stand your ground’ states with states where the duty to retreat still exists found an 8 percent increase in homicide associated with the laws.”