This State Has the Worst Gun Laws in America

The number of gun deaths in American rose last year. Gun sales skyrocketed too. An unsettled American society, caused primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial tensions, gets much of the blame. Whatever the cause, the results were deeply disturbing. One way to measure this trouble is by gun deaths per 100,000 people. Based on this and other factors, one state stands out, and we have ranked it as having the worst gun laws.

The Gun Violence Archive tracks gun violence as measured by gun deaths. It has collected the data since 2014. The figures include killings and suicides. It uses over 7,500 sources each year to give details on each incident. Its researchers report, “Each incident is verified by both initial researchers and secondary validation processes.” Last year, the archive reported 43,418 gun deaths, up from 39,529 in 2019.

As mentioned, the number of gun sales skyrocketed in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic last year. As of the end of December, 39.3 million firearm background checks had been completed since the start of the year, more than in any other full year since state-by-state tracking began in 1998. Fewer than 28 million background checks were performed in all of 2019.

Forty-five states reported more background checks for gun purchases in 2020 than in any other year on record. Background checks rose last year in every state except for Kentucky, which in 2019 had 4.2 million firearm background checks. That was by far the most, at nearly one check per resident.

Because of varying state laws, loopholes in gun sales online and at gun shows, as well as untraced illegal weapon purchases, total gun sales, or the number of guns owned in the United States, is unknown. However, it is possible to approximate the number of gun purchases using background checks tracked by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. While widely considered the best proxy, because of varying state laws and purchase scenarios, background checks do not represent the true number of firearms sold.

Gun laws are ranked each year by the Giffords Law Center in its Annual Gun Law Scorecard. The organization’s attorneys track gun laws in each state and assign points for laws and policies. Under this point system, each state is graded. Gun death rates come from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

States get grades from A to F. Twenty-one states received an F grade. Among these, Alaska had the most deaths at 24.49 per 100,000, which ranked it first by that category. 24/7 Wall St. used that as the tiebreaker among the F-rated states. Alaska also ranked as the worst state on the 24/7 Wall St. annual list of the most dangerous states in America.

Here are ratings from the Giffords Annual Gun Law Survey:

GUN LAW STRENGTH (RANKED)STATE2020 GRADEGUN DEATH RATE (RANKED)GUN DEATH RATE (PER 100K)
37AlabamaF522.17
42AlaskaF124.49
45ArizonaF1615.05
39ArkansasF919.26
1CaliforniaA447.21
15ColoradoC+1814.22
3ConnecticutA-455.30
11DelawareB409.97
24FloridaC-2612.67
32GeorgiaF1415.78
4HawaiiA-474.46
48IdahoF1914.16
8IllinoisA-3510.80
27IndianaD2014.00
20IowaC429.09
43KansasF2113.69
46KentuckyF1714.91
33LouisianaF622.13
33MaineF3411.44
6MarylandA-2812.56
7MassachusettsA-503.39
20MichiganC3112.04
14MinnesotaC+438.12
50MississippiF224.23
46MissouriF720.52
33MontanaF1018.93
19NebraskaC3810.22
16NevadaC+1515.30
30New HampshireF3710.54
2New JerseyA484.13
18New MexicoC+422.27
5New YorkA-493.91
25North CarolinaD2313.06
38North DakotaF2912.55
25OhioD2213.32
39OklahomaF1118.58
16OregonC+3012.50
13PennsylvaniaC+3211.65
9Rhode IslandB+464.59
31South CarolinaF819.80
44South DakotaF2413.04
29TennesseeD-1218.34
33TexasF2712.64
28UtahD2512.80
23VermontC-419.37
12VirginiaB3311.65
10WashingtonB+3610.70
41West VirginiaF1316.62
22WisconsinC-3910.04
48WyomingF322.47

Click here to see the most dangerous states in America.

Click here to see the states where people are buying the most guns.


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