Gun Laws Matter: A Comparison of State Firearms Laws and Statistics
Publication Date: January 2010
Publisher(s): Legal Community Against Violence
Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation
Keywords: firearms; gun violence; gun laws
Coverage: United States
Though gun violence results in over 30,000 deaths each year, “Gun Laws Matter” states that the federal government has not done nearly enough to regulate firearms. It argues that some states choose to stand up to the gun lobby by enacting a variety of common sense gun laws, while others leave firearms virtually unregulated.
This brochure ranks the states based on 25 policy approaches to regulating firearms. States receive or lose points for each policy, with the most far-reaching laws receiving the most points, and measures it finds increase the likelihood of gun violence resulting in a deduction of points. After tallying the points, it ranks each state in order from best gun laws to worst. California received the most points, 47, and is therefore ranked number 1. Arizona received -5 points and is ranked number 50. Its ranking system reveals that many of the states with the strongest gun laws also have the lowest gun death rates. Conversely, many states with the weakest gun laws have the highest gun death rates.