What Are Stand Your Ground Laws?

Amber Guyger, George Zimmerman, and Michael Dunn all gunned down unarmed black men — and they all cited Stand Your Ground laws in their legal defense. Here's what you need to know about the controversial laws.

Using deadly force

What do George Zimmerman, Michael Dunn & Amber Guyger have in common? They all “Stood Their Ground.” Stand Your Ground laws, such as Texas’ Castle Doctrine, say a person may use deadly force in the protection of a home, vehicle, and property if someone attempts to forcibly enter. Across the U.S., self-defense is generally legal when retreat is no longer possible. But Stand Your Ground laws are now legal in 26 states since 2005. In Florida, Michael Dunn’s lawyer Cited Stand Your Ground laws in his defense after Dunn shot at 4 teens amid an argument about the volume of music in their car.

He was eventually convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. George Zimmerman was also acquitted with a similar defense for his 2012 killing of teenager Trayvon Martin. In 2019, former cop Amber Guyger was convicted of the murder of her neighbor Botham Jean after mistaking his apartment for her own. The judge had ruled the Castle Doctrine was applicable to the case. Stand Your Ground laws have also been seen to cause an uptick in homicides — at least 30 people are killed per month nationwide as a result of these laws. Critics also say the law makes racial bias legal — white shooters of black victims are deemed 11x more justifiable than when the shooter is black, and victim is white based on data from the NPO Everytown.

It's important to understand that even states that have stand your ground laws still have certain restrictions when it comes to using force in self-defense. For example, they may require that the threat of perceived harm be objectively reasonable and that the force used be proportional to the threat. Stand your ground laws may also require that the person using self-defense be at the location lawfully (not trespassing, for example) and not be the initial aggressor in the altercation.


10/04/2019 1:58 PM


  • Terry B.
    01/31/2020 23:57

    Quit watching ads from Brut they only use partial misleading facts to push a gun control fake news go to settings on ad and remove all ads from Brut

  • Wes G.
    01/31/2020 18:45

    What they all have in common, is that the had witnesses in their trials.

  • Sam S.
    01/31/2020 16:56

    Of course they would that's their only defense. But the law saw through them. Unfortunately they just got smacks on the wrists. But when your going to do time any excuse is better then none, so there started reaching. This post is cause they tried to use an excuse. If they used temporary insanity, would you try and take that away too? This is just another week artical to sway minds with half a thought put into it.

  • David C.
    01/31/2020 15:23

    She was charged.. she got 15 years

  • Antonio P.
    01/30/2020 02:45

    They should give her life. If i kill someone i will get life. Why she didn't get life on prison because she was a cop it's not fair. She should get sentences to life because she kill someone on purpose not self defense.

  • Steve S.
    01/30/2020 01:05

    bottom line I know if you're supposed to be in my house or not and if you force your way in I'm going to blow you out of your shoes. I really don't give a s*** about the reason or what color you are. You break into my home and you are done.

  • Kareem A.
    01/30/2020 00:58

    These people have nothing to do with stand your ground. everyone wants to comment about what theyd do if someone broke into their house but its just a post throwing bullshid to piss dummies off.

  • Chris K.
    01/29/2020 16:00

    The law isn't the problem you should have a right to protect your stuff without having to run like a little b****

  • Carlos H.
    01/29/2020 02:04

    amber killed bothan in his apartment not her own!!!!!

  • Lou L.
    01/28/2020 15:39

    So as long as someone is unarmed they cause you no threat. George Zimmerman had wounds he was treated for. If someone threatened my life, I would defend it with anything I had.

  • Tim A.
    01/28/2020 00:37

    Brut is a shithole page. Post garbage

  • Jennifer P.
    01/27/2020 17:08

    This is an excellent example of biased and misleading journalism...

  • Maggie C.
    01/27/2020 05:35

    People should realize that breaking in house,car,businesses and stealing they may be shot.People should be aloud to protect themselves and there belongings.

  • Michael D.
    01/27/2020 05:31

    this is absolutely disgusting that you would devalue human life like this over a few bad people. Chicago is leading in gun deaths. no stand your ground law and the strictest gun rules period next to new York. this propaganda is disgusting. you may want to be a victim but i sure as hell won't. act a fool get treated like a fool it really is that simple.

  • Steven L.
    01/27/2020 04:39

    Totally cherry picking and leaving out full descriptions of the incidents. How many times has stand your ground worked? Take a hard look at gun crime in the states that support stand your ground. As others have pointed out, if the application is incorrect or without basis, rule against it. This editorial offers a red herring, a straw man and heartstrings. More gun "control" results in more overall crime. Assess tragedies individually.

  • Michael R.
    01/27/2020 00:30

    Sooo, you're saying "standing your ground" is a bad thing?

  • Darek S.
    01/26/2020 04:41

    Stop being John Wayne and caring about other people!! Lmao. I would love to see this guy kill a burglar with kindness as his wife and kids are in jeopardy of being hurt or worse. Pure Ignorance!!

  • Jeremy T.
    01/25/2020 17:56

    this is what I talking about the other day

  • Troy S.
    01/25/2020 15:12

    If criminals want to not get shot. They could always you know.... stop committing crimes.

  • Michael S.
    01/25/2020 14:15

    There is zero reason I should have to retreat away from a threat. If you come at me to commit a crime why should I have to run away?

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