WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- States in the South and
West with weak gun laws and high rates of gun ownership lead the nation in
overall firearm death rates according to a new analysis issued today by the
Violence Policy Center (VPC) of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The new VPC analysis uses 2005 data (the most recent available) from
the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The analysis
reveals that the five states with the highest per capita gun death rates
were Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, Tennessee, and Alabama. Each of these
states had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national per
capita gun death rate of 10.32 per 100,000.
By contrast, 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. (See list below or chart at
http://www.vpc.org/press/0804gundeath.htm for states with the highest and
lowest gun death rates. See http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart.htm for a
ranking of all 50 states.)
States with the Five HIGHEST Per Capita Gun Death Rates
Louisiana--Rank: 1; Household Gun Ownership: 45.6 percent; Gun Death
Rate: 19.04 per 100,000.
Alaska--Rank: 2; Household Gun Ownership: 60.6 percent; Gun Death Rate:
17.49 per 100,000.
Montana--Rank: 3; Household Gun Ownership: 61.4 percent; Gun Death
Rate: 17.22 per 100,000.
Tennessee--Rank: 4; Household Gun Ownership: 46.4 percent; Gun Death
Rate: 16.39 per 100,000.
Alabama--Rank: 5; Household Gun Ownership: 57.2 percent; Gun Death
Rate: 16.18 per 100,000.
States with the Five LOWEST Per Capita Gun Death Rates
Hawaii--Rank: 50; Household Gun Ownership: 9.7 percent; Gun Death Rate:
2.20 per 100,000.
Massachusetts--Rank: 49; Household Gun Ownership: 12.8 percent; Gun
Death Rate: 3.48 per 100,000.
Rhode Island--Rank: 48; Household Gun Ownership: 13.3 percent; Gun
Death Rate: 3.63 per 100,000.
New Jersey--Rank: 47; Household Gun Ownership: 11.3 percent; Gun Death
Rate: 4.99 per 100,000.
New York--Rank: 46; Household Gun Ownership: 18.1 percent; Gun Death
Rate: 5.28 per 100,000.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, "Blind allegiance to the
Second Amendment comes at a deadly price. Many residents in pro-gun states
cheer the possibility of a June Supreme Court ruling that could place gun
controls across the nation at risk, never realizing that those states stand
as proof of the need for such laws."
The VPC defined states with "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. States with "strong" gun
laws were defined as those that add significant state regulation in
addition to federal law, such as restricting access to particularly
hazardous types of firearms (for example, assault weapons), setting minimum
safety standards for firearms and/or requiring a permit to purchase a
firearm, and have restrictive concealed carry laws.
The Violence Policy Center (www.vpc.org) is a national educational
organization working to stop gun death and injury.
SOURCE Violence Policy Center