'Pro-Gun' States Lead the Nation in Per Capita Firearm Death Rates

Violence Policy Center Analysis of New Data Reveals Louisiana, Alaska,

Montana, Tennessee, and Alabama Top List of Deadliest States in the Nation

Blind Allegiance to the Second Amendment Takes Deadly Toll

Apr 24, 2008, 01:00 ET from Violence Policy Center

    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
 (CDC) data.
     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