States with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun death, says the gun-control organization Violence Policy Center in an analysis of just-released 2006 data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, and Nevada.
Each of these states had a per capita gun death rate exceeding the national per capita gun death rate of 10.32 per 100,000 for 2006. The center contended that each state has lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates. States with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Ranking last for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. The center defined “weak” gun laws as those that add little or nothing to federal restrictions and have permissive concealed carry laws allowing civilians to carry concealed handguns.