Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Gun Murders in Florida Spiked as Direct Result of Stand Your Ground Law, CAPAF Analysis Finds
Press Release

RELEASE: Gun Murders in Florida Spiked as Direct Result of Stand Your Ground Law, CAPAF Analysis Finds

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Washington, D.C. — Approximately 4,200 individuals in Florida have been murdered with a gun as a direct result of its “stand your ground” law, enacted in 2005, according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Not only could the lives of thousands of individuals have been saved had the law never been enacted, but there is also a stark and quantifiable racial bias with the law as applied.

“Gun violence in Florida has reached a nearly two-decade high, and its stand your ground law is playing a major role in that spike,” said Chelsea Parsons, vice president of Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and co-author of the analysis. “Now, Floridians have a chance to elect statewide leadership that either stands by the law’s dangerous, racially biased history, or moves Florida in a safer direction for all communities.”

While the overall rate of gun-related deaths in Florida increased 20 percent from 1999 to 2016, the gun murder rate specifically in the state since 2006 has risen so dramatically that in 2016, the latest year for which data are available in Florida, it was 8 percent higher than the national rate. At the same time, the nongun murder rate in Florida declined 45 percent from 1999 to 2016.

In the face of mounting evidence of the harm caused by stand your ground on certain communities, Florida’s Republican leadership actually doubled down on the law in 2017 and made it more extreme. Now, the Florida governor’s race presents an opportunity for Floridians to assess a decade of data to determine whether the law has proven beneficial or whether it is nothing more than a failed experiment.

Click here to read the analysis.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Kyle Epstein at kepstein@americanprogress.org or 202-481-8137.