New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that states with weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership have the highest overall gun death rates in the nation, says the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center. The organization said that states with the lowest overall gun death rates have lower rates of gun ownership and some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws. States with the highest gun death rates in 2014 were Alaska, 19.68 deaths per 100,000 population, followed by Louisiana Mississippi, Alabama and Montana.
States with the lowest rates were Hawaii, 2.82 deaths per 100,000 population, followed by Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. “Year after year, the evidence is clear that states with fewer guns and strong gun laws have far lower rates of gun death,” says the center’s Kristen Rand. “States with strong gun violence prevention laws consistently have the lowest gun death rates in the nation. In states with weak gun laws and easy availability of guns, the rates of death by gunfire are far higher.” The nationwide gun death rate in 2014 was 10.54. The total number of Americans killed by gunfire dropped to 33,599 in 2014 from 33,636 in 2013. U.S. gun death rates dwarf those of other industrialized nations. The gun death rate in the United Kingdom was 0.23 per 100,000 in 2011, and in Australia the gun death rate was 0.93 per 100,000 in 2013.