Stand Your Ground Laws, Homicides and Gun Deaths

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Stand Your Ground Laws, Homicides and Gun Deaths

Category: Firearm Policies, Homicide, Stand Your Ground & Castle Doctrine|Journal: Regional Studies|Author: A Munasib, M Guettabi|Year: 2016

An increased recognition of the possibility of treatment heterogeneities of policy changes has resulted in the rise of comparative case studies. Our analysis uses the synthetic control method (SCM) to examine if the passage of the Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws had dissimilar effects on homicides and firearms deaths in the US states that passed these laws during the first wave (between 2005 and 2007). Using 22 years of data (1991–2012) to study each state separately, we find that these laws did not have uniform effects across states: in three out of 14 states – Florida, Alabama and Michigan – they led to increased (non-suicide) firearms deaths (and by different magnitudes). These three states imposed a duty to retreat prior to their SYG laws and saw a marked departure in self-defense treatment as their SYG laws passed. As for murder and non-negligent manslaughter, only for Florida was an effect found.

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