Sen. Yee: Study Shows Tough Gun Laws Result in Fewer Deaths

The study shows states with the toughest gun laws reportedly have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths.

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.


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Barbara January 03, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Ok. Correct me if I'm wrong. To quote the article, "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." Wasn't the worst massacre involving this school in Newtown? Ummm. That comes from a state with the toughest gun laws. Is it just me or what? This article PROVES that tough gun laws do not matter.
Bren January 03, 2013 at 09:06 PM
No Barbara, the article doesn't prove that. Connecticut still has one of the lowest rates of gun death, even when you factor the Newtown massacre into the equation. As for Yee's law, I can't say I agree with all of it. If somebody's breaking into your home, the extra time that it takes to find your key and unlock your gun could very well cost you your life. I think most people who keep guns in their homes for self defense will ignore that part of the law, and if they ever do wind up shooting an intruder, they can always claim after the fact that the gun had been locked up securely prior to the incident. As long as they can show that they own a trigger lock or gun safe, who could possibly prove the gun wasn't locked up prior to their using it?
Andy_99 January 06, 2013 at 01:31 AM
This study isn't really a study, it's just an example of looking for data that fits your hypothesis. The full data tells a different story. I looked at the numbers myself and here's what I found. First of all, the LCPGV excludes Washington, DC from their study. This is important because Washington, DC has the third-worst gun death rate, but extremely strict gun laws! If you include DC in your study you can't say "the ten states with the highest gun death rates have the weakest gun laws". They excluded DC because it ruined the point they wanted to make. Second, the data used by the LCPGV includes both homicides AND suicides. The Now, suicides are a very important topic, but the reasons for suicides and homicides are very different so obviously they should be looked at separately. This data comes straight from the CDC and you can get it with or without suicides. If you separate out just the gun deaths due to homicides, the data show that the states with the weakest gun laws have lower gun death rates than those with strong gun laws. Using the LCPGV's grading scale, where an "A" grade = strong gun laws and an "F" grade = weak gun laws, here are the average gun homicide rates (per 100,000 population) by grade. Note: I've included Washington, DC in these averages with a grade of "A" since they have the strictest gun laws. A: 5.7 B: 3.1 C: 2.7 D: 3.4 F: 3.2 It's pretty clear from the numbers that gun laws do NOT impact gun homicide rates.


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