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Americans Believe 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Improve Public Safety

Florida's Stand Your Ground law caused controversy last year after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin, but the self-defense law resurfaced in headlines again in February after a Florida jury found Michael Dunn not guilty of first-degree murder for shooting a teenager after an argument over loud music.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows a plurality of American voters are now more confident that such a law improves public safety. Forty-six percent of American adults favor having a Stand Your Ground law in their state, a number unchanged from last July following the verdict in the George Zimmerman case.

Thirty-four percent said they oppose such a law in their state, while 20 percent are undecided.

But a greater number -- 41 percent -- now believe Stand Your Ground laws improve public safety, up 7 points from 34 percent in July. Thirty-four percent think such laws undermine public safety, a number unchanged from the earlier survey.

Eleven percent say the laws have no real impact on public safety, while 15 percent are not sure.

The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted Feb. 17-18 by Rasmussen Reports.

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