Study: Stand Your Ground led to increase in homicide cases

By Cheryn Stone, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, January 06, 2017, 12:04 AM EST

New medical findings link Florida's Stand Your Ground law to a significant increase in gun deaths.

  • JAMA Study: 24.4% increase in homicide associated with Stand Your Ground
  • Study authors say findings should be used to make informed decisions

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association states implementing Stand Your Ground in Florida is associated with a 24.4 percent increase in homicide and a 31.6 percent increase in firearm-related homicide in the state.

"So the implication of these findings is that almost immediately after Stand Your Ground was enacted, rates of homicide and firearm homicide have gone up at a quite startling rate," said study author David K. Humphreys, Ph.D. "We don't yet know and from this analysis alone we cannot tell why that is."

Florida's Stand Your Ground law allows people to stand and fight, including fire a gun, if they feel threatened, without having to be attacked first.

Study authors suggest using the findings to make informed decisions on policies regarding gun violence.

UCF Political Science Professor Aubrey Jewett said whether lawmakers will act on the study remains to be seen. The issue is as much an emotional one as it is a logical empirical one.

“It doesn't necessarily mean that policy makers are going to listen to those studies anyway," Jewett said. "In many instances the policy makers have their minds pretty much already set."

To read the study, head to the Journal of the American Medical Association website.

Another JAMA report published this week finds gun violence research is underfunded and understudied compared to other leading causes of death in America.