TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida has seen an increase in firearm homicides involving teenagers since the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law was enacted, according to a newly-released study.
The study, published in December, examines the rates of gun-related homicides of teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 years old between 1999 and 2017. The “stand your ground” law took effect in 2005.
The study excludes instances such as suicide. It found that, prior to the law, Florida saw a quarterly average of 1.53 deaths for every 100,000 teenagers.
Teen gun homicides
Here’s a look at teen gun homicides in Florida following the ‘Stand Your Ground’ self-defence law. The numbers are per 100,000 teens. Hover over the bar to see the exact numbers.
Quarterly homicide rate
Florida’s average quarterly rate of teen homicides. The numbers are per 100,000 teens. Hover over the bar to see the exact numbers.Source: Injury Prevention, Increasing adolescent firearm homicides and racial disparities following Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ self-defence law
After the law took effect, that number jumped to 2.16 deaths per 100,000.
The majority of the teens killed by gun-related homicide were black, the study says.
Among white teens, the gun-related homicide rates rose from 0.56 to 0.61 for every 100,000 teens after 2005. Homicides of black teens, however, increased from 0.97 per every 100,000 teens to 1.55 afterward.
“Our analysis indicates that Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law is associated with a significant increase in firearm homicide and may also exacerbate racial disparities,” the study says.
The published report comes as a local father continues to advocate for changes in the law, three years after his son was fatally shot at a Valrico home.
“My overall goal is to bring it back to the floor, look at the overall chaos that the law has caused and, in particular, the law has caused for unjustified homicides to go up tremendously,” said Johnson.