A recently released study indicates states with the toughest gun laws have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths, according to a statement from the office of Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo.
The study, released by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, also indicates states with weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun deaths, Yee's office reported.
The six states with the lowest per capita gun death rates -- Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut -- all had some of the "toughest" gun laws in country, according to the study.
In contrast, the top 10 states with the highest per capita gun death rates -- Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi -- all had reportedly "weak" gun laws, the study reported.
“It is a fact that strong gun laws work and weak laws result in the loss of innocent lives,” said Yee, who is authoring legislation to close a major loophole in California’s assault weapon ban and to strengthen state law regarding safe storage of weapons.
“Clearly, there is a direct correlation between common sense gun laws and fewer gun-related homicides. While we cannot stop every senseless act of gun violence, we should certainly strengthen our laws to prevent tragedies,” he said.
Yee’s SB 47 is modeled after a bill he introduced last year but that was held by the State Assembly.
The bill prohibits semi-automatic weapons, including AR-15s and AK-47s, from having devices known as “bullet buttons” and “mag magnets,” which allow the gun to be easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition. SB 47 also prohibits add-on kits that allow high-capacity magazines.
Yee is also planning to introduce legislation that will toughen safety requirements. Current law only requires that gun owners own a trigger lock or safety lock box for their weapon, but doesn’t require the safety device to be used on an idle firearm. Yee’s bill will require that all guns have a locked trigger and be properly stored in a lock box when not in use.
The subject of gun control has been in the spotlight following the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed.