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Today, Senator Durbin held a hearing to review stand your ground laws nationwide. The Law Center was proud to be invited to share our written testimony outlining our research and analysis of these dangerous laws.

As Senator Durbin said this morning, “Whatever the motivations were behind the passage of these laws, it is clear that these laws often go too far in encouraging confrontations to escalate into deadly violence…They are resulting in unnecessary tragedies, and they are diminishing accountability under the justice system.” We couldn’t agree more. Research into so-called “stand your ground” laws – also known as “shoot first” laws – provides insight into these deadly policies.

As outlined in the our written testimony, shoot first laws significantly threaten public safety because they frustrate the ability of law enforcement to prosecute criminals, encourage vigilante behavior, and deprive victims of remedies. Because such laws are most dangerous when coupled with weak laws governing the carrying of concealed weapons in public, Congress should avoid enacting any new federal legislation that would force states to recognize concealed weapons permits issued in other states.

Read the Law Center’s written testimony for the stand your ground law hearing.

See our shoot first policy summary for more on stand your ground laws nationwide.