States With the Most Gun Violence

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5. Mississippi
> Firearm homicide deaths per 100,000: 6.91 (2nd highest)
> Firearm aggravated assaults per 100,000: 51.69 (19th highest)
> Violent crime rate per 100,000: 269.8 (18th highest)
> Need permit to purchase handgun: No
> Governor: Phil Bryant (R)

Mississippi scores at or near the bottom of all states in several criteria used to measure gun violence. In 2009, more than 50 guns were exported from Mississippi for every 100,000 residents and were used in a violent crime in other states, more than any other state and more than three times the average among all states. There were 6.91 firearm homicides per 100,000 residents in 2010, higher than all states except for Louisiana. In addition, there was an annual average of 2.5 homicides of women involving a firearm, also more than all states except for Louisiana. The state scored an F from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence for failing to require a background check when guns are transferred between private parties, or to regulate gun dealers effectively.

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4. Arizona
> Firearm homicide deaths per 100,000: 4.24 (13th highest)
> Firearm aggravated assaults per 100,000: 57.36 (16th highest)
> Violent crime rate per 100,000: 405.9 (19th highest)
> Need permit to purchase handgun: No
> Governor: Jan Brewer (R)

Arizona ranked in the top 10 states for firearm deaths between 2001 and 2010, along with homicide deaths of women and deaths of children 17 and under in those years. In addition, 30% of guns used in a crime within the state were sold less than two years before the crime was committed, indicating a high likelihood of illegal gun trafficking. This was a higher percentage than all states except for Missouri. In March, Guns & Ammo magazine ranked the state as “The Best State for Gun Owners,” noting the state is one of just a few that do not require a license to carry a concealed firearm. Also, concealed carriers are not required to notify law enforcement of their weapon except during “lawful traffic or criminal investigation, arrest or detention or an investigatory stop by a law enforcement officer.”

3. Alabama
> Firearm homicide deaths per 100,000: 5.92 (3rd highest)
> Firearm aggravated assaults per 100,000: 40.50 (23rd highest)
> Violent crime rate per 100,000: 420.1 (16th highest)
> Need permit to purchase handgun: No
> Governor: Robert Bentley (R)

In Alabama, there were 16.36 deaths due to firearms in 2010 for every 100,000 residents, more than all but three other states. That year, there were 5.92 firearm homicides for every 100,000 people, higher than all but two other states. The state also ranked within the top 10 for homicides of women with a firearm, firearm deaths of children and law enforcement killings, all within a 10-year time frame. Recently, the Alabama Senate voted to ease gun restrictions. The legislation, if signed into law, would allow residents to keep guns locked inside their vehicles at work without fear of pushback by their employer. The legislation also would allow people to carry a visible pistol without being charged with disorderly conduct.

2. Alaska
> Firearm homicide deaths per 100,000: 4.22 (14th highest)
> Firearm aggravated assaults per 100,000: 80.47 (9th highest)
> Violent crime rate per 100,000: 606.5 (2nd highest)
> Need permit to purchase handgun: No
> Governor: Sean Parnell (R)

In 2010, there were more than 20 gun deaths for every 100,000 residents in Alaska, more than any other state in the country. That year, the state had more 15 suicide deaths with a firearm per 100,000 residents, also more than any other state in the country. Between 2001 and 2010, there were nearly six firearm deaths among children 17 years old or younger per 100,000 children, also the most in the country. In February, Alaska’s House of Representatives passed a law that would exempt the state from new federal gun laws. Any federal agent who attempts to enforce the law could be charged with a felony. Despite its passage, the bill is considered unconstitutional since federal law is superior to state law.

1. Louisiana
> Firearm homicide deaths per 100,000: 9.53 (the highest)
> Firearm aggravated assaults per 100,000: 99.51 (4th highest)
> Violent crime rate per 100,000: 555.3 (7th highest)
> Need permit to purchase handgun: No
> Governor: Bobby Jindal (R)

No state had a bigger problem with gun violence than Louisiana. Between 2001 and 2010, there were 18.9 firearm deaths — which includes suicides and accidents — annually for every 100,000 residents, more than any other state. In 2010, there were 9.53 homicides involving a firearm for every 100,000 residents, by far the highest rate in the country. In November 2012, nearly three-fourths of Louisiana voters approved a state constitutional amendment that placed a very strict standard on determining whether individual gun rights can be limited. Since the amendment was passed, a host of legal challenges have been filed against the state’s gun restrictions, including a challenge of the ban on felons to own firearms. The state received an F for its gun laws from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Among the reasons for the poor grade are the fact that the state does not require a waiting period for gun purchases or prohibit the sales of assault weapons or high-caliber rifles.

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