Thursday, May 26, 2022

Homicide Rates in States with the Weakest Gun Control Laws

The table below lists the ten U.S states with the weakest gun control laws (as of 5/14/22) according to research done by the Giffords Law Center. Correlating this list with homicide death data from the National Center for Health Statistics, a unit of the CDC, we found that in 2020 the collective homicide rate for these ten weak gun control states was, at 9.8 deaths per 100,000 population, more than 30% higher than the national homicide rate.  However, the collective results were heavily skewed by inordinately high homicide rates in four states in the group (Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Arkansas).  The other six weak gun control states in the group recorded homicide rates in 2020 that were at, or below, that national average homicide rate.

Visit the Giffords Law Center for more about their research into gun laws and for their rankings of U.S. states by the strength of their respective gun control laws.

Homicide Rates in States with the Weakest Gun Control Laws

** State Deaths Population Death Rate*
41 Alaska 55 731,158 7.5
42 Kentucky 404 4,477,251 9.0
43 Arizona 525 7,421,401 7.1
44 South Dakota 52 892,717 5.8
45 Mississippi 576 2,966,786 19.4
46 Kansas 195 2,913,805 6.7
47 Missouri 803 6,151,548 13.1
48 Idaho 42 1,826,913 2.3
49 Wyoming 25 582,328 4.3
50 Arkansas 371 3,030,522 12.2
    Sub-total 3,048 30,994,429 9.8
U.S. 24,576 329,484,123 7.5

(**) status of gun control laws ranked strongest to weakest
(*) number of homicide deaths per 100,000 population

Report Period: 2020

Source: CDC Wonder. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2020 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released in 2021. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2020, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed on May 14, 2022

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