Politics

Stricter Gun Laws Equals Fewer Gun-Related Deaths, Research Shows (Charts)

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Research has found that states with the most gun laws have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths compared to those with fewer regulations.

Using data from The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Kaiser Family Foundation, and the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), the National Journal found that stricter gun laws results in fewer gun-related deaths from homicides, suicides, accidental deaths, and legal interventions involving firearms.

The states with the most gun-related deaths — Wyoming, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alaska — were found to have the least restrictive gun laws, including not requiring a permit to purchase a handgun or a universal background check at the time of sale.

There is a federal law that requires a background check on all commercial gun sales. But if an individual purchases a gun from an unlicensed seller, such as at a gun show or online, it is excluded.

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Forty percent of gun sales in the United States are made via unlicensed sellers.

The highest rated states also do not require registration of a handgun and have a “stand your ground” law in effect.

Under a “stand your ground” law, a person may defend themselves from dangerous situations with the knowledge that they are immune from prosecution if they use deadly force -- at home or in public.

Gun homicides in 2013 were 1.15 percent lower in states who do not have a “stand your ground” law than in those that do have such a law in effect.

All six of the states with the lowest gun-related deaths — Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey — do not have a “stand your ground” law.

Each of the lowest ranking states do require a universal background check to purchase a handgun and a permit. It is difficult to obtain a concealed weapons permit in all of these states.

Four of the highest ranked states do not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The research comes at a time when calls for stricter gun laws to be passed are occurring in the U.S. given the 200 mass shootings that have taken place in 2015 alone.

Australia, New Zealand, Germany and England, all passed new gun control laws when they were experiencing high levels of gun-related violence, Listverse reports.

The U.S. currently has more mass shootings than any other nation.

Sources: National Journal, Listverse

Photo Source: Ken/Flickr, Augustas Didzgalvis/Wikipedia CC