Policy

States with looser gun restrictions have higher number of homicides, suicides: study

Seized guns
Atlanta Police Department

States with more relaxed gun laws have higher rates of firearm-related homicides and suicides, according to a new study from the nonprofit advocacy organization Everytown for Gun Safety. 

California, Hawaii, New York and Massachusetts were all among the eight states with the tightest gun laws and the lowest rate of gun-related deaths. California came in the number one spot for restrictive gun laws, and Hawaii and Massachusetts reported the lowest number of gun deaths.

On the other end of the spectrum, the study listed 13 states as falling significantly below the national average on both gun deaths and restrictive gun laws. Louisiana, Missouri, Wyoming and Mississippi were rated as the states with the highest rate of deaths caused by gun violence. Mississippi was rated as the top state for both the weakest gun laws and the highest death rate.

Everytown said they compiled the study by analyzing the 50 most important policies in each state and categorizing those laws from the highest level of impact to the lowest. They also analyzed figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics and WONDER Online Database. 

“What this project does, is show what we’ve been saying for years: Gun laws save lives,” Nick Suplina, senior vice president of law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, told CNN. “We think this is going to be a really important tool for lawmakers, reporters and advocates that have been looking for the kind of visual tool that can make that case clearly.” 

The study also notes that even states that have highly restrictive gun laws are seeing firearm deaths going up due to guns coming across state lines. It notes that when guns from another state are found at crime scene, four out of five come from states with weak background check laws.

The study comes after the United States reported over 20,000 gun deaths in 2021, making it one of the deadliest years on record, according to investigate organization The Trace

Tags Background checks Everytown for Gun Safety gun deaths gun laws gun violence

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video