But most states with laws along these lines, most notably Florida, follow the American Legal Exchange Council (ALEC) model law, which bans police from arresting people who use deadly force in public unless there is probable cause that they did not act in response to a perceived threat, and which grants broad immunity from prosecution and civil action to shooters in such case.Indeed, someone who shoots and kills in such a circumstance can himself sue law enforcement agencies if they press charges.Some researchers have found that castle doctrine laws of this scope, frequently dubbed "stand your ground" laws, have caused a statistically significant increase in homicide rates.
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But it's worth noting that at the state level, gun laws have been getting laxer, not more stringent, in recent years, and at times preposterously so.
Here is a sampling of the most lenient state gun laws in the country, to give a sense of exactly how lax the current legal regime is. Concealed carry at 16 — with no permit: Most states that allow people to carry a concealed weapon on their person require gun owners to obtain a permit before doing so.
But four states — Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming and Vermont — allow concealed carry without any permit.
Georgia bars employers from making employment conditional on not bringing guns to work.
George Zimmerman faces charges of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Martin was killed in Florida, which follows the American Legal Exchange Council (ALEC) model law. License to kill, even in public: A class of laws, called "castle doctrine" statutes by supporters, in most states clarify that homeowners who feel threatened in their domicile have no duty to retreat from threats or to refrain from the use of deadly force.
But most states also have such laws that apply to conflagrations in public places, far removed from the shooter's "castle." That is, these 34 states allow people to use deadly force when they feel threatened in public. Five states, including Ohio and Missouri, only provide for the use of deadly force when the threatened party is in a vehicle.
That means, the Brady Campaign's Brian Malte tells me, that Jared Loughner was in full compliance with Arizona law up until the moment he used his concealed weapons to kill six people and severely injure Rep. Vermont, however, stands out from the pack because it allows people as young as 16 to conceal carry without parental permission, as well as buy handguns.
So a Vermont teenager aged 16 can't legally go to an R-rated movie alone or join the military, but he can buy a handgun and carry it in his jeans and be completely within the limits of the law. Property rights end where gun rights begin: According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 17 states, including Oklahoma and Florida, bar employers from preventing their employees from bringing guns to work and keeping them locked in their vehicles, even if those vehicles are on the property of the employer.