Pawn shop owner Tom Hand almost always keeps his gun with him. While he's never had to use "stand your ground"--he says it offers him some protection.
"I believe it is a comforting thought to know that if someone is attacking you, you do have the right to defend yourself," says Hand. The legislature enacted Alabama's law in 2006--before then victims were required to look for a way to retreat before using deadly force. Stand your ground law changed that.
It justifies deadly force in public places you have a right to be--like your neighborhood or a shopping center.
"So it took away that duty to retreat of course then the issue becomes where do you have a right to be?," says Defense Lawyer Jeff Deen. Deen says he always checks to see if stand your ground applies in murder cases he's trying.
"Most of the time in a homicide or murder prosecution, the defendant, that's the only offense he's ever committed and he's mad at somebody over something," says Deen. Alabama's law allows a victim to respond with deadly force if they believe their life is in danger, the victim isn't committing a crime themselves and is not the aggressor.
Florida began the debate over stand your ground with the George Zimmerman case--but there's not a lot of momentum to change it. Last year a statewide study of stand your ground concluded with a public hearing in Pensacola--the group did not recommend big changes to the law.