America Under Fire: An Analysis of Gun Violence in the United States and the Link to Weak Gun Laws

America Under Fire: An Analysis of Gun Violence in the United States and the Link to Weak Gun Laws

A robust and growing body of research demonstrates an undeniable correlation between strong state laws regulating guns and lower rates of gun violence, a report from the Center for American Progress finds. A follow-up to a 2013 study, the report, America Under Fire: An Analysis of Gun Violence in the United States and the Link to Weak Gun Laws (46 pages, PDF), ranks states on ten indicators of gun violence — including number of gun deaths, suicides, homicides, fatal accidents, and law enforcement officers feloniously killed with a firearm per 100,000 people — as well as on the relative strength or weakness of their gun laws, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence's Gun Law State Scorecard. According to the report, the ten states with the weakest gun laws — Kansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, Arizona, Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Kentucky, Vermont, and Missouri — collectively have an aggregate level of gun violence that is 3.2 times higher than the ten states with the strongest gun laws — California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Hawai'i, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Delaware. The report calls on lawmakers to consider legislation aimed at reducing gun violence, including closing the private-sale loophole and requiring background checks for all sales; prohibiting domestic abusers and stalkers from owning guns; and investing in community-based programs designed to address the underlying root causes of violence.

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