Fault Lines

License to Kill: How ‘stand your ground’ lets shooters go free

Fault Lines examines how US ‘stand your ground’ laws have redefined self-defence and increased killings.

In this documentary, Fault Lines travels to Florida and Texas to investigate two homicide cases in which “stand your ground” was used as a defence – and examines how these laws impede families’ quest for justice.

When one man shot and killed another at a cinema during an argument over a cell phone, he claimed self-defence and went free. Cases like these are becoming more common as stand your ground laws spread across the United States, with some states seeing a rise in gun killings. Critics dub them “shoot first laws” and warn that they escalate violence and embolden people to act on their fear-driven biases.