Special Report

The 10 States With the Worst Gun Violence

2. Louisiana
> Firearm deaths per 100,000 people:
19.3 per 100,000
> Total firearm deaths 2005-2014: 9,448 (13th highest)
> Violent crime rate: 514.7 per 100,000 (6th highest)
> Permit required to carry handgun: Yes
> Poverty rate: 19.8% (3rd highest)

Like the nation, suicides account for the majority of gun deaths in Louisiana. However, homicides are not rare in the state. For every 100,000 state residents, there were nine gun-related homicides in 2014, the highest rate in the country. In addition to the state’s nation-leading murder rate, 122.5 robberies and 352.4 aggravated assaults were reported for every 100,000 people in Louisiana, each seventh highest compared with other states. These two types of crimes, while often not deadly, frequently involve weapons.

States with high levels of gun violence are also often among the poorest states in the country. Louisiana is no exception with a poverty rate of 19.8%, third highest of any state.

1. Alaska
> Firearm deaths per 100,000 people:
19.7 per 100,000
> Total firearm deaths 2005-2014: 1,401 (10th lowest)
> Violent crime rate: 635.8 per 100,000 (the highest)
> Permit required to carry handgun: No
> Poverty rate: 11.2% (6th lowest)

With nearly 20 gun deaths per 100,000 state residents, Alaska leads the nation in gun fatalities. No different than is the case nationwide, Alaska’s suicide rate, at 15.6 per 100,000 residents, drives the state’s overall gun death rate. It is also the highest suicide rate of any state, and more than double the national rate of 6.7 suicides per 100,000 Americans. Violence more generally is also especially common in the state relative to its population. Alaska’s violent crime rate, which does not include suicide, is 636 incidents per 100,000 people — the highest in the country.

Like all of the states with the highest gun death rates, Alaskans do not need a license or a permit to buy or own a long gun or a handgun, nor is registration required. Like just seven states, and just two on this list, no permit is necessary to carry a handgun in Alaska.

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