Tennessee is one of 25 states with the "Stand Your Ground" law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee is one of at least 25 states that have the "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law that has been at the center of a national debate since a neighborhood watchman killed an unarmed teenager in Florida last month.

The laws, which are sometimes called the "Make My Day" law or the "Shoot First" law, say people have no duty to retreat from confrontations outside their home and can use deadly force to protect themselves.

Supporters of Tennessee's law and others like it say the statute is necessary so law-abiding citizens can defend themselves when confronted by criminals.

Opponents of the law say it gives the legal blessing to commit murder and innocent people, like the teen in Florida, are often the ones who wind up dead.


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