Comparison of Gun Laws and Gun Deaths Across America

Comparison of Gun Laws and Gun Deaths Across America

In June 2022, the United States Supreme Court’s decision to repeal concealed weapons legislation in New York sent shock waves across the country.

The ruling drew attention to the ongoing debate around US gun laws – a debate that Americans have rudely divergent points of view on. This lack of consensus is apparent not only in public opinion, but in legislation, with US gun regulations varying widely from state to state.

Which states have the toughest (and loosest) gun regulations? This graph of Elbie Bentley sets the stage for comparing gun laws across America before the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision can be fully understood. It uses 2021 data from Giffords Legal Center and contrasts with gun-related deaths in each state.

States with the strictest gun laws

Since 2010, researchers at Giffords Law Center have been ranking state gun laws across America and seeing if there is a correlation between stricter gun laws and a drop in gun-related deaths. fire.

Here’s a look at the top 10 states with the strictest gun laws and their number of gun-related deaths in 2021:

Rank State Firearm-related deaths in 2021 (per 100,000 people) % difference from the national average
1 California 8.5 -37%
2 New Jersey 5 -63%
3 Connecticut 6 -56%
4 Hawaii 3.4 -75%
5 Massachusetts 3.7 -73%
6 New York 5.3 -61%
seven Mayland 13.5 -1%
8 Illinois 14.1 +3%
9 Rhode Island 5.1 -62%
ten Washington 10.9 -20%

California has the strictest gun laws in the country. Some of the state’s most notable laws are the proactive removal of firearms from persons accused of domestic violence or persons subject to domestic violence protection orders.

In addition to having the strictest gun laws, California also has a relatively low rate of gun-related deaths, at 8.5 deaths per 100,000 population.37% below the national average.

Apart from Illinoisgun-related deaths in the 10 states with the strictest gun laws are all below the national average, with Hawaii ranking lowest for firearm-related deaths at 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people, or 75% below the national average.

States with the most lax gun laws

On the other end of the spectrum, here’s a look at the 10 states with the most lax gun laws and their number of gun-related deaths per 100,000 population:

Rank State Firearm-related deaths in 2021 (per 100,000 people) % difference from the national average
41 Alaska 23.5 +73%
42(T) Arizona 16.7 +22%
42(T) Kentucky 20.1 +48%
44 South Dakota 13.6 -0.4%
45(T) Kansas 16.9 +24%
45(T) Mississippi 28.6 +110%
47 Missouri 23.9 +75%
48 Idaho 17.6 +29%
49 Wyoming 25.9 +90%
50 Arkansas 22.6 +66%

Apart from South Dakotaall states in the bottom 10 have an above-average rate of gun-related deaths. Mississippi has the highest mortality rate at 28.6 per 100,000, which is 110% above the national average.

In Mississippi, you don’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon, not even on college campuses. And a few years ago the state adopted a law allowing K-12 school employees to bring firearms onto school grounds.

Polarized opinions and uncertain future

The Supreme Court’s recent decision came weeks after dozens of people were killed in a series of mass shootings across the country, including one at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and another at a school. elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Notably, some states have already responded to the ruling by changing their gun laws. New York passed new legislation banning guns in notable public places, requiring candidates to prove they can use a firearm, and requiring candidates to have their social media accounts reviewed. On the other hand, Maryland has relaxed its gun lawsdirecting law enforcement to be less restrictive on concealed transport applicants.

As all changes are still happening in quick session, time will tell what the upcoming annual review of US gun laws will show about the nation’s gun regulatory landscape.

This article was published as part of Visual Capitalist’s Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite creators from around the world.

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