A study shows that homicide rates increase when Americans are allowed to use force as self-defense. (File photo)
A recent study shows homicide rates have increased by seven to nine percent in the American states, which legally allow citizens to use force in self-defense in public places.
According to researchers at Texas A&M, an additional 500 to 700 homicides take place annually in the 23 states, which have imposed “stand your ground” laws.
The "stand your ground" law allows citizens to use lethal force to defend themselves if they feel at risk of harm in a park or on the street.
Researchers compared the homicide rates before and after the laws were taken in effect and also compared to the rates of non-stand your ground states.
Mark Hoekstra, who examined the study, said that the results also did not find any evidence that the law contributed to crime prevention over the same time period.
"The imperfect but growing evidence seems to suggest that the consequences of adopting stand your ground laws are pernicious, in that they may lead to a greater number of homicides - thus going against the notion that they are serving some sort of protective function for society," said Stanford law professor John Donohue.
Every year, more than 30,000 people are shot and killed in the US including 14,000 homicides.
There are 270 million firearms in the US with a population of 320 million meaning that there are more guns than adults.