“Stand Your Ground” Laws: Self-Defense or License to Kill?

Policy Forum
April 23, 2012 4:00PM
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring Clayton E. Cramer, Historian, Co-author, Cato study, Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens; Massad Ayoob, Firearms Trainer, author of In the Gravest Extreme; Steven Jansen, Vice President, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys; moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.

Since the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Florida’s Stand Your Ground law has come under intense scrutiny. Florida governor Rick Scott is presently forming a task force to reexamine that state’s law. Critics argue that such laws have led to shootouts over petty disputes and have hampered police investigations with a sweeping grant of legal immunity. Supporters of the Stand Your Ground law say it does not apply to the Martin case and that such laws merely protect those who use a firearm in self-defense from prosecution and financially ruinous litigation. Join us for a discussion of what these laws actually cover and what has happened in the 24 states that have enacted them since 2005.