States with Weak Gun Laws and Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation in Gun Deaths

Washington, DC — States with weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership have the highest overall gun death rates in the nation, according to a Violence Policy Center (VPC) analysis of new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Meanwhile, states with the lowest overall gun death rates have lower rates of gun ownership and some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation. However, even in these states the human toll of gun violence remains unacceptably high and far exceeds the gun death rate in most Western industrialized nations.

“Lawmakers in every state should roll up their sleeves and pass stronger legislation to prevent needless deaths from gun violence,” states Sue Hornik, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence, a national umbrella group for state gun violence prevention organizations. “The safety of our families and communities is at stake.”

A table of the states with the five highest gun death rates and the five lowest gun death rates is below. For a list of gun death rates in all 50 states, see http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart14.htm.

The nationwide gun death rate was 10.38 per 100,000. The total number of Americans killed by gunfire rose to 32,351 in 2011 from 31,672 in 2010.

America’s gun death rates — both nationwide and in the states — dwarf those of most other Western industrialized nations. The gun death rate in the United Kingdom in 2011 was 0.23 per 100,000 while in Australia it was 0.86 per 100,000.

Read full report  here. The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury.

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