For Immediate Release
VPC Press Office,
States with Higher Gun Ownership and Weak Gun Laws Lead Nation in Gun Death
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama, and Nevada Have Highest Gun Death Rates
WASHINGTON - States
with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the
of overall gun death according to a new analysis by the Violence
Center (VPC) of just-released 2007 national data (the most
from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
that the five states with the highest per capita gun death rates
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama, and Nevada. Each of
had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national per
gun death rate of 10.34 per 100,000 for 2007. Each of the
states has lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates. By
with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far
of firearm-related death. Ranking last in the nation for gun
Hawaii, followed by Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
York. (See rankings below for top and bottom five states. See http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart10.htm
for a ranking of all 50 states.)
Kristen Rand states, "The equation is simple. More guns lead to
death, but limiting exposure to firearms saves lives."
Death Rate per 100,000
Death Rate per 100,000
with "weak" gun laws as those that add little or nothing to
and have permissive laws governing the open or concealed
carrying of firearms
in public. States with "strong" gun laws were defined as those
significant state regulation in addition to federal law, such as
access to particularly hazardous types of firearms (for example,
weapons), setting minimum safety standards for firearms and/or
a permit to purchase a firearm, and restrictive laws governing
and concealed carrying of firearms in public. State gun
were obtained from the September 2005 Pediatrics article
Household Firearms and Firearm-Storage Practices in the 50
the District of Columbia: Findings From the Behavioral Risk
System, 2002," which is the most up-to-date, comprehensive
state gun ownership rates.
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The Violence Policy Center is a national tax-exempt educational organization working for a safer America through research, investigation, analysis, and advocacy. The VPC provides information to policymakers, journalists, organizations, advocates, and the general public.