Southern and western states with weak gun laws and high rates of gun ownership lead the nation in firearm death rates, says an analysis by the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. The analysis used 2005 data, the most recent available.
The five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, Tennessee, and Alabama. Each had a rate far exceeding the national per capita gun death rate of 10.32 per 100,000. States with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Ranking last in the nation for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York.