States with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the highest rates of overall gun death, the Violence Policy Center, a gun-control advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., said today. The center’s report was based on just-released 2007 national data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
The analysis shows that the five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama, and Nevada. Each states had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national per capita gun death rate of 10.34 per 100,000 for 2007. Each of the top-ranking states has permissive gun laws and higher gun ownership rates. By contrast, states with strong gun laws and lower rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Ranking last in the nation for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York. (See http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart10.htm for a ranking of all 50 states.)