Since 2005, a majority of states have enacted laws that make it easier to get away with murder. These laws distort the usual standard for self-defense by allowing people to use lethal force even if they could have avoided violence by stepping away from a confrontation. Research has shown that these laws lead to more killing and exacerbate systemic racism.
Giffords Law Center and the SPLC Action Fund jointly released a new report, “Stand Your Ground” Kills: How These NRA-Backed Laws Promote Racist Violence, analyzing the failure of Stand Your Ground policies.
Stand Your Ground does not offer the promised reductions in crime that the NRA and other proponents promised it would; in fact, Stand Your Ground laws have been proven to increase homicide rates and have been called a “low-cost license to kill” by the American Bar Association.
These laws also cause disproportionate harm to Black and Brown communities, and allow more people to get away with murder with impunity. Law enforcement and prosecutors have at least initially cited Stand Your Ground laws in numerous other decisions not to arrest or prosecute the killers of Black men, including Ahmaud Arbery, who was murdered in Georgia in February 2020 by white vigilantes who chased, cornered, and fatally shot him when he was out for a jog.
Giffords Law Center and SPLC Action Fund stand with partners and allies like Amnesty International, Cities United, the Community Justice Action Fund, The Dream Defenders, the NAACP, and others in calling for the repeal of Stand Your Ground laws in the 27 states where they are enacted and for laws to be passed overturning harmful court decisions that have imposed Stand Your Ground standards on eight other states.