For the past decade, “Stand Your Ground” laws have been invoked time and time again by gun owners who claim self-defense after carrying out shootings. Critics have denounced them as “shoot first” laws that have created a climate of vigilantism in which gun owners operate with impunity in killing largely Black people.

The concept resurfaced again last week following the killing of Senior Airman Roger Fortson in Florida, but the dynamics were different.

This time, the victim was a young Black servicemember who carried his legally owned handgun to the door of his apartment after hearing banging noises that ended up being a sheriff’s deputy. The officer — and not Fortson — opened fire within seconds. His supervisors say he acted in self-defense.